AMMAN (Reuters) - France recalled its ambassador to Damascus and Syria's suspension from the Arab League took effect on Wednesday, intensifying diplomatic pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to halt a violent eight-month-old crackdown on protests. Syrian army defectors attacked an intelligence complex on the edge of Damascus in a high-profile assault that showed how close the popular uprising is to sliding into armed conflict. Hours after the Arab League suspension took effect, Assad supporters threw stones and debris at the embassy of the United Arab Emirates and smeared its walls with graffiti, witnesses said. The embassy is in one of the most secure districts of the capital, near Assad's home and offices. Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said France was working with the Arab League on a draft resolution at the United Nations. Last month Russia and China vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have condemned Damascus, but since then the normally cautious Arab League has suspended Syria for failing to implement an Arab peace plan. "New violence is taking place and that has led to the closure of the missions in Aleppo and Latakia and to recall our ambassador to Paris," Juppe said, referring to weekend attacks by pro-Assad demonstrators on French diplomatic premises, as well as Turkish and Saudi missions, in Syria. Arab foreign ministers met in Rabat for an Arab-Turkish forum, where a Syrian flag was placed by an empty chair. Turkey, now a fierce critic of its former ally, said Syria had failed to honor an Arab peace plan to halt the unrest. Speaking through a translator, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu compared Syria with Libya, where rebels captured, humiliated and killed Muammar Gaddafi last month. "The regime should meet the demands of its people," he said. "The collective massacres in Syria and ... the bloodshed cannot continue like this." In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi criticized the Arab League for "acting in a way that will hurt the security of the region." He told the official news agency IRNA that Syria, an ally of Iran since 1980, had repeatedly pledged to meet legitimate popular demands and enact reforms. "Unfortunately, some countries believe that they are outside the crisis ... but they are mistaken because if a crisis happens they will be entangled by its consequences." Saudi Arabia, which is eager to loosen the ties between its regional rival Iran and Syria, said the Arab League was acting in Syria's interest, not interfering in its affairs. "What's important is not about suspending or not suspending (Syria from the League), it's stopping the bloodshed, starting the dialogue, and withdrawing troops from Syrian cities," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told Al Arabiya channel. Western countries have tightened sanctions on Syria and on Monday Jordan's King Abdullah became the first Arab head of state to urge Assad to quit after ensuring a smooth handover. In the early months of the uprising, attempts by security forces to crush mainly peaceful protests accounted for most of the violence. But since August there has been an growing number of reports of army defectors and armed civilians fighting back. Activists said Free Syrian Army fighters fired machineguns and rockets at a large Air Force Intelligence complex on the northern edge of the capital at about 2:30 a.m. (0030 GMT).