Ambassador Imad Moustapha
Ambassador Robert Ford
Tensions between Damascus and Washington are on the rise: Syria's ambassador to the United States has been recalled to Damascus, a spokesman for the Syrian embassy said on Monday, amid an escalating spat that has seen Washington call home its envoy to Syria.
"Ambassador Imad Moustapha is already recalled to Damascus for consultations," said a spokesperson for Syria's embassy in Washington. He did not reply to a reporter's question about when Moustapha was recalled.
The US decided to withdraw Ambassador Robert Ford from Syria over fears for his safety. The decision followed what DC officials called "a growing campaign of incitement against him being orchestrated by the regime."
US officials said there had been credible threats against Ford's life: "Ambassador Robert Ford was brought back to Washington as a result of credible threats against his personal safety in Syria," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
"At this point, we can't say when he will return to Syria. It will depend on our assessment of Syrian regime-led incitement and the security situation on the ground."
The Syrian government quickly ordered home its envoy to Washington, raising the diplomatic stakes. A Syrian Embassy spokesperson said that "no other steps were being taken by the embassy."
AP and Reuters contributed to this report
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