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US orders Syria to close embassy in Washington

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration marked the third anniversary of the start of Syria’s civil war Tuesday by ordering Damascus to close its embassy in Washington and expelling its diplomats, though it did not break diplomatic relations with President Bashar Assad’s government. The order was issued “in consideration of the atrocities the Assad regime has committed against the Syrian people” and because Syria had stopped providing consular services, Daniel Rubinstein, the new U.S. special envoy for Syria, said in a statement. “We have determined it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime to conduct…