Syrian Gov't Officials Quit En Masse, While Syrian Ambassador's Royal Wedding Invite is Revoked
In Syria, a major sign that the Bashar al-Assad government may be falling apart after weeks of brutal, bloody, and fatal crackdowns on reform-minded protests. Hundreds of officials of his "Ba'ath" party have resigned form their government posts. Many of these officials came from regions that have been particularly hit by the protests and subsequent government retaliation.
...more than 230 members of the monolithic party that has ruled Syria since 1963 announced their resignation.
"Considering the breakdown of values and emblems that we were instilled with by the party and which were destroyed at the hand of the security forces … we announce our withdrawal from the party without regret," 30 party members from the coastal city of Banias said in a letter.
They accused security forces and pro-government gunmen of opening fire at homes, mosques and churches and inciting sectarian strife between the country's Sunni majority and President Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shia Islam.
In another, less serious but quite public blow to the government's credibility, the Syrian ambassador's royal wedding invite has been summarily revoked:
In a potential embarrassment for the British government, it emerged that Sami Khiyami, the Syrian ambassador to London, was still on the guest list for the royal wedding. The Foreign Office later announced that it had decided, with the agreement of Buckingham Palace, that the presence of the ambassador would be "unacceptable" and that he should not attend.
Read more, including a summary of international squabbles about how to weigh in on Syria's problems, can be found at The Guardian.