US considering closing embassy in Syria

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is considering closing the U.S. embassy in Damascus and removing all US workers there because of deteriorating security in Syria, an administration official tells The Associated Press.

The official says conditions in Syria and the threat of danger to American personnel caused the administration to consider the move, but no final decision has been made. Speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive issues, the official says all personnel would leave the country if the embassy closed.

The 10-month-old uprising against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad (bah-SHAR' AH'-sahd) has killed an estimated 5,400 people since March. Although the revolt began with mostly peaceful protests, an increasingly strong armed element has developed, and many people are now fighting the regime.