The governments of Bahrain and Kuwait announced today that they are recalling their ambassadors to Syria in protest of President Bashar Al Assad’s brutal crackdown on the country’s popular uprising. Saudi Arabia withdrew its envoy yesterday.
The loss of support from Bahrain and Kuwait is not expected to have much impact on the Assad regime. But the harshly-worded statement released by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, not exactly a paragon of tolerance and pluralism, seemed to signal a new phase in the stalemated crisis, with an international coalition united against Syria beginning to take shape:
“Today, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands before its historical responsibility towards her brothers, demanding the stoppage of the killing machine and bloodshed, use of reason before it is too late, introduction and activation of reforms that are not entwined with promises, but actually achieved so that our brothers the citizens in Syria can feel them in their lives as dignity, glory and pride.”
Turkey announced that it will send Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to Damascus tomorrow to deliver “a resolute message” that the Assad regime “must end the bloodshed sweeping the country and introduce reforms,” or risk Turkish defection to the anti-regime alliance, according to Hürriyet Daily News.
Davutoğlu’s persuasion is unlikely to succeed. Responding to the Turkish statement announcing the minister’s visit, a Syrian spokesman darkly hinted that a firm message would receive “an ever firmer reply.”
Meanwhile, Syrian tanks continued to assault the eastern city of Deir al-Zour for a second day in a row. More than 50 people died in the city yesterday, the BBC reports.
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