A new video is starting to make the rounds that shows U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford being targeted by a pro-regime Syrian protesters. It's a fracas that The Cable blog is calling an "attack" and an "assault." But we'll let you watch the video to decide.
First, here's what happened, according to The Cable:
The assault took place before Ford's unapproved trip to the city of Jassem on Aug 23. Ford was present at a gathering of demonstrators who support the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad outside the Cham Palace Hotel in Damascus when one demonstrator ran up to Ford and tried to wrap him in a poster that featured Assad's face.
Ford's security intervened quickly and rushed Ford to his car. [...]
Footage of the confrontation was then replayed on Syrian TV, which accuses Ford of trying to lead a protest in Damascus and is why you are seeing it now. The incident begins at about 2:00 below:
According to The Cable, this is just one more in a long line of anti-Ford "stunts:"
For example, the same TV station recently showed a video of fireworks in downtown Damascus, after which the anchor said Ford must have been "shitting his pants with diarrhea," Tabler recounted.
After Ford visited anti-regime protests in the city of Hama in July, the regime encouraged supporters to pelt the U.S. embassy with rocks and eggs. The protesters smashed embassy windows and wrote graffiti on the walls calling Ford a "dog."
"It's annoying and shows you the base nature of that regime," said Tabler. "This regime hates to be in the spotlight. Robert Ford's actions there place those kinds of things in the spotlight and that's why they are harassing him."
"[The video is] a weak, banal, laughable attempt by the Syrian thugs to have the international community focus on anything but the real story, which is the government's continuing campaign of terror on its own people through torture, murder and illegal imprisonment," a State Department official told The Cable.