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Turkey Evacuates Diplomats' Families from Damascus

Turkey has decided to evacuate the families of diplomats in Damascus after its embassy was attacked.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 11/13/2011, 3:23 PM

Flag of Turkey
Flag of Turkey
Israel news illustration

The families of Turkey's diplomats and staff in Damascus are being evacuated from Syria following an attack on its embassy in Damascus.

A mob of at least 1,000 pro-Assad rioters hurled rocks and bottles at the embassy in the Syrian capital, Turkey's state-run Anatolian news agency reported. Syrian police eventually intervened to end the attack, reporters said.

Hundreds of similar protesters gathered to storm Turkish missions elsewhere around Syria as well, according to a report Sunday by broadcaster CNN Turk.

Loyalists of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Lebanon likewise took to the streets of Beirut late Saturday night, expressing their rage over the Arab League's decision earlier in the day to suspend Syria for not fulfilling its agreement to end government violence against its citizens.

Protesters attacked the Embassy of Qatar in the Lebanese capital, forcing their way into the building where the embassy is located. They removed the Qatari flag and replaced it with the flag of Syria, witnesses told the AFP news agency.

Syrian opposition forces called on supporters late Saturday to help increase the protests in order to oust Assad as quickly as possible. Syrian National Council (SNC) head Burhan Ghalioun told viewers in an interview on Lebanese Future TV Saturday night, “We need to escalate the revolution in order to oust” the regime of Bashar al-Assad “as quickly as possible.”

At least 13 people died Saturday in clashes, most of them in the central city of Homs and the province of Idlib, both of them hotspots of firm resistance to government crackdowns. 

Activists have said that more than 4,200 people have died since the anti-government uprisings began eight months ago. The Arab League has ousted Syria as a result of those figures.