Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) issued a statement applauding the Senate's unanimous confirmation of Robert Ford as U.S. Ambassador to Syria:
"Last night, the Senate sent a tough message to the Assad regime. Robert Ford's presence in Damascus applies far more pressure than his symbolic withdrawal would have because Robert embodies American solidarity with the Syrian people. Despite even being physically attacked and assaulted by the regime's goons, Ford continues courageously to visit cities under military siege and speak truth to power.
"With international media banned from entering Syria, Robert has shed important light on the brutality and helped us better understand the emerging opposition. His July visit to Hama, when he was greeted with a street celebration, temporarily averted a military assault. Last month, he took great risk attending the funeral of a murdered activist just an hour before it was attacked.
"More difficult days lie ahead. It is vital that we continue to support the efforts of the Syrian people and demand that the government immediately end the violence against them. I urge the United Nations Security Council and broader international community to follow the American and European lead and stand by the Syrian people by dramatically increasing the economic and political pressure against the regime."