The Arab Digest has learned from different sources that the American Embassy will shut down by the end of the current month (they had threatened to do so). According to our sources, the Syrian staff of the American embassy have been notified of the decision, and have started looking for jobs in Beirut. The Syrian staff have also been told that the State Department will continue to pay their salaries for another two months, despite the closure.
The Arab Digest had reported earlier that the American Embassy's school, The Damascus Community School had closed its doors for students a few days ago. As a result, many families have moved to Beirut where the children have been registered at the American Community School (ASC).
Such steps come before an expected escalation in the international community's response to the crisis in Syria, either in the form of intervention or heavier sanctions on the country's already suffering economy.
(Robert Ford had been sent to Damascus a year ago, left, then returned in last December)