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U.S. Ambassador Visits Southern Syria

U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford
The U.S. ambassador to Syria has visited a town in the south of the country. An embassy spokesman, who declined to be named, said that "Ambassador Robert Ford went this morning [August 23] to Jassem, 65 kilometers south of Damascus as part of his routine diplomatic duties."

The spokesman said Ford returned to the embassy after the visit. Jassem is in southern Daraa province, an epicenter of antiregime protests that broke out in mid-March, where according to activists 15 people were killed on August 19 by security forces when they opened fire to crush a demonstration.

In July, Ford angered Syrian authorities when he visited the flashpoint central city of Hama, along with the French ambassador to Syria Eric Chevallier.

compiled from agency reports