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    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Tempest in a tea pot?

    US-Syrian crisis intensifies, Damascus embassy may close

    DEBKAfile Special Report

    October 29, 2008, 2:07 PM (GMT+02:00)

    US embassy in Damascus on alert

    US embassy in Damascus on alert

    The American embassy in Syria has warned US nationals to remain alert, avoid demonstrations and prepare for the mission’s possible closure to the public.

    The warning was posted Monday, Oct. 27, the day after US troops landing in helicopters raided a site near Abu Kemal in eastern Syria.

    It followed a Syrian threat of “painful responses” for the American attack. The US embassy’s Web site warned that “unforeseen events could cause the embassy to close to the public.” DEBKAfile’s sources report that the embassy is preparing for extreme events, such as possibly a Syrian military siege of the embassy, violent demonstrations or even a direct attack that would force the evacuation of staff.

    Those sources believe that the Assad government’s closure of the American cultural and school Monday and protest to the UN Secretary General and Security Council Chairman were only the beginning and that more extreme steps are in store in Syria and Iraq.

    Following pressure from Tehran, the Baghdad government denounced the American incursion into Syria after first accusing Damascus of cross-border terror against Iraq.

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