U.S. To Close Syrian Embassy

The U.S. is preparing to close its embassy in Damascus, Syria by the end of the month, a senior White House official said on Friday, due to the country’s rapidly deteriorating security situation. The Obama administration said the embassy will shut its doors unless President Assad agrees to provide greater protection—a concession he has so far been unwilling to make. The announcement comes on the heels of a slew of car bombings, with officials saying they have reason to believe Syrian and Iraqi militants associated with al-Qaeda are behind the attacks. Though the U.S. has not directly blamed the Syrian government for the bombings, a White House official said shuttering the embassy “reinforces our point that Assad has lost all legitimacy.”