LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images
Supporters of Syria's President Bashar Assad (portrait) attend a pro-regime rally in central Damascus on Feb. 5, 2012.
The Obama administration closed the U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Monday and recalled all American diplomats from Syria. The reason cited was safety concerns, as the situation there continues to deteriorate.
But the U.S. is also increasingly stepping up its efforts to aid the opposition against President Bashar Assad. Since the uprising began nearly a year ago, 5,400 people have been killed.
Steve Clemons, the Washington editor-at-large for The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.