Britain closes its embassy in Syria

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BEIRUT (AP) -- Britain's foreign secretary says the U.K. is closing its embassy in Syria and withdrawing all diplomatic staff amid a worsening security situation in the country.

William Hague said Thursday that he judged "that the deterioration of the security situation in Damascus puts our embassy staff and premises at risk."

Britain had previously reduced the number of staff at the premises, meaning less than 10 people were working there before Hague's announcement.

Hague insists the move would not reduce "the U.K.'s commitment to active diplomacy to maintain pressure on the Assad regime to end the violence."