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      Syria Slams Clinton 'Provocation'

      Clinton says Syrian president "is not indispensable" after Damascus mob attacked US and French embassies.
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 7/12/2011, 6:43 PM / Last Update: 7/12/2011, 8:40 PM

      Syria criticized what it termed 'provocative' remarks on Tuesday by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton  in which she said President Bashar al-Assad had 'lost legitimacy' and was 'not indispensable,' the Guardian reported.

       
       
      "These remarks are a blatant interference in Syria's internal affairs and a provocative act aimed at continuing the internal crisis," the official SANA news agency reported.
       
      Clinton's comments came on the heels of the storming of the US embassy in Damascus on Monday by Assad supporters after US envoy Robert Ford made a show of solidarity last week with opposition protestors in Hama.
       
      "If anyone, including President [Bashar] al-Assad, thinks that the United States is secretly hoping that the regime will emerge from this turmoil to continue its brutality and repression, they are wrong," clinton added.
       
      "President Assad is not indispensable and we have absolutely nothing invested in him remaining in power," she added.
       
      "From our perspective, he has lost legitimacy," Clinton told reporters. "He has failed to deliver on the promises he's made."
       
      Clinton also accused Assad of accepting help from Iran to "repress his own people."
       
      She said the United States was investigating the storming of the incident, adding Assad's government had not taken the necessary steps to protect diplomatic outposts.
       
      Rioters stormed inside breaking windows and furniture before US marine guards intervened and secured the embassy. No serious injuries were reported in the incident.
       
      The French embassy was also attacked by hundreds of Assad's supporters, who were angry about the ambassadors' visit last week to the city of Hama to show support for the demonstrators. 
       
      French security, however, used live fire to repel the attack.
       
      Human rights groups say more than 1,400 civilians and 350 security personnel have been killed in Assad's bloody crackdown on protesters who have been calling for his ouster since March.