U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford addressed the situation in Syria today during an interviews with Christiane Amanpour of ABC's This Week. Ambassador Ford said:
"...My whole purpose in being in Syria is to be able to communicate not only with the Syrian Government but with the Syrian people more generally. I will be very frank again: The Syrian television operated by the state, operated by the dictatorship, is not credible and tells all kinds of lies. So we are looking for ways to reach out to the Syrian public through social media, through things like Facebook, and by going out and about in the country."
Ambassador Ford continued, "...It's important to bear witness to what the Syrian Government is doing. In that kind of environment, where the international press, international television, can't move around freely, it is really important for diplomats to be able to move around, to understand what the Syrian Government is doing on the ground. The Syrian Government does not tell the truth. They said there were armed gangs in Hama. Well, the only weapon I saw was a slingshot. So it's important to bear witness and it's important to relay a message of support."
The Ambassador said, "...Bashar al-Asad is using a great deal more violence than was used in Egypt. We have said -- and we've been very clear on this -- we do not view Bashar al-Asad as indispensible. We do not view his continuation in power as important to American interests. We have said we view him and his government as the source of instability and the source of violence in Syria. I think our views are very clear. The President has said his government will be left in the past. The meaning is clear, Christiane."
In closing, Ambassador Ford said, "...[W]e are going to try to ratchet up the pressure. The violence that the Syrian Government is inflicting on Syrian protestors, from our point of view, is grotesque, it's abhorrent -- not just from our point of view, from the point of view of the entire international community. And so we are looking at additional unilateral measures, but also measures that we can work with partners to get the Syrian Government to stop shooting protestors, to release political prisoners, and to stop these arrest campaigns."
You can find the Ambassador Ford's complete interview on ABC's This Week here.