This includes from rocket and missile attacks:
The US has shut down its embassy in Damascus, in the wake of the loyalists' attacks on Homs:
The U.S. evacuated all its diplomats from the country as Syrian forces intensified a shelling assault on the restive city of Homs. The offensive began Saturday, the same day Syria's allies in Russia and China vetoed a Western- and Arab-backed resolution aimed at trying to end the brutal crackdown on dissent.All the while, China and Russia are doing whatever they can to thwart even the most bland of actions by the United Nations. They blocked an Arab League plan to bring about a peaceful transition of power in Syria, but France and Germany are working on trying to resurrect a peaceful transition there with wording that might somehow be sufficient to get both China and Russia to abstain from the measure, which would allow the Security Council to pass it.
The onslaught on Homs has reinforced opposition fears that Assad will unleash even greater violence to crush dissent, now that protection from China and Russia against any U.N.-sanctioned action appears assured.
Already, more than 5,400 people have been killed since the Arab Spring-inspired uprising that began in March, according to the U.N.
"We have been relentless in sending a message that it is time for Assad to go," President Obama said during an interview with NBC. "This is not going to be a matter of if, it's going to be a matter of when."
The decision to close the embassy is the most dramatic U.S. move so far after 11 months of a violent crackdown by Assad's regime.
Still, Assad is in the drivers' seat here; his regime continues brutalizing the Syrian people and the world looks on pretty much helpless to step in. NATO is not stepping in to act, and the Arab League is incapable of pushing Assad to stop either. The Arab League observer mission ended in all but failure, as their own monitors saw the violence first hand and how Assad was manipulating the mission for his own propaganda purposes.