U.S. ambassador to Syria returns to Washington

U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford is temporarily leaving his post while unrest in the country escalates amid protests against President Bashar al-Assad. Media outlets have reported that his decision was made in light of "credible threats."

Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Haynes Mahoney has underscored the fact that Washington did not formally recall Ford, though diplomats have a reason to be nervous in Syria. Ford and several embassy workers were hit with tomatoes and eggs last month on their way to meet with leaders of the opposition.

The State Department issued a statement Monday saying it is uncertain when Ford will return to Syria.

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