Former U.S. ambassador to Syria recalls encounter with Assad

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Robert Ford, who has had diplomatic posts in Syria and Iraq, recalls surviving several violent attacks on embassies and a hostile encounter with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. (KABC)

Few Americans understand the complicated civil war in Syria as well as Robert Ford, who served as U.S. ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014.

Before that he had diplomatic postings in other world hotspots, including Iraq and Algeria.

Ford is in Southern California to speak Wednesday night in Irvine to the World Affairs Council of Orange County.

He came to the ABC7 studios to discuss the situation in Syria.

He also recalled the time Syrian president Bashar Assad yelled at him when he brought up the subject of human rights.

"He speaks fluent English, very personable," Ford said. "But when I raised human rights with him, he got quite angry and started yelling at me."

Ford also recalled surviving violent attacks on several embassies where he has been stationed.

To see his full conversation with Elex Michaelson, watch the video above.
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