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Former Syrian ambassador rips US policy

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Robert Ford, former U.S. ambassador to Syria, says America's policy toward the war-torn nation has produced little results. (Source: CNN) Robert Ford, former U.S. ambassador to Syria, says America's policy toward the war-torn nation has produced little results. (Source: CNN)
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WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) – Syrians headed to the polls on Tuesday to elect a president in voting that current leader Bashar al-Assad is expected to win big.

Three years ago President Barack Obama said, "Assad must go."

And with the death toll climbing past 160,000, and about 9 million refugees inside and outside Syria, western leaders and their regional allies admit their policy so far has been a colossal failure.

Robert Ford was America's last ambassador to Syria.

But he stepped down in May because he says he could no longer defend the Obama administration's policy.

"I was no longer in position where I felt I could defend the American policy," he said. "We have been unable to address either the root causes of the conflict in terms of the fighting on the ground and the balance on the ground, and we have a growing extremism threat. And there really is nothing we can point to that's been very successful in our policy except the removal of about 93 percent of some of Assad's chemical materials. But now he's using chlorine gas against his opponents."

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