The United States took another step Tuesday to distance itself from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Daniel Rubinstein, who was appointed special envoy for Syria on Monday, said that the “United States notified the Syrian government today that it must immediately suspend operations of its Embassy in Washington, D.C., and its honorary consulates in Troy, Michigan, and Houston, Texas.”
The decision comes as the Syrian civil war enters its fourth year, and Rubinstein said that in light of the “atrocities the Assad regime has committed,” the administration has “determined it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime to conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States.”
The Syrian embassy in Washington said last week that it stop consular services as of Tuesday.
In light of the State Department’s decision, any Syrian diplomat or consular who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident has to leave the country.
The comments echo a YouTube video that Rubinstein posted Monday. Rubinstein said that “Assad will go to any length to maintain power,” adding that the civil war has been “a somber occasion and a sober reminder to all of us of the work still needed.”
And despite the administration’s latest move, Rubinstein said the United States will to carry on its diplomatic relations with Syria “as an expression of our longstanding ties with the Syrian people, an interest that will endure long after Bashar al-Assad leaves power.”
Secretary of State John Kerry announced Rubinstein as the special envoy for Syria on Monday.
What We're Following See More »
Two powerful House members—Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Jeff Miller (R-FL)—are throwing their support behind Donald Trump.
There are not "ongoing, direct conversations between" the Bernie Sanders camp and the Hillary Clinton camp regarding "the platform or rules changes," but Sanders "is already making his opening arguments" about those issues on the stump. Sanders is putting "complaints about closed primaries" atop his stump speeches lately, and figures to start a "conversation about the role of superdelegates in the nominating process." He said, “Our goal, whether we win or we do not win, is to transform the Democratic Party."
Well, this is unsubtle. Former Speaker John Boehner called Ted Cruz "lucifer in the flesh," adding that he "never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." Boehner has endorsed John Kasich, but he said he'd vote for Donald Trump over Cruz. He also praised Bernie Sanders, calling him the most honest politician in the race, and predicted that Joe Biden may yet have a role to play in the Democratic contest, especially if Hillary Clinton runs into legal trouble over her emails.