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Syria Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Mar 17, 2003

This Travel Warning is being issued to alert U.S. citizens that the Department of State has ordered all family members and non-emergency personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus to depart the country. The decision to move to ordered departure status is a result of an overall assessment of the security situation in the region due to the threat of military action in Iraq. The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Syria. Private American citizens currently in Syria are strongly urged to depart immediately. This Travel Warning supersedes that issued on February 7, 2003.

On March 16, the Department of State ordered all family members and non-emergency personnel to depart the country as a result of a deteriorating security situation in the region. U.S. consular personnel remain available to provide emergency information and services to American citizens. Should conditions dictate, some consular services for non-American citizens could be restricted, for example, suspending all but emergency visa operations.

U.S. citizens who remain in Syria despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register at the consular section of the U.S. Embassy and enroll in the Embassy's warden system (emergency alert network) in order to obtain updated information on travel and security in Syria. Please note that although commercial air service is currently available, there remains the possibility of commercial flight disruptions should there be military action in Iraq.

In the event of military action in Iraq, there is a risk that Iraq or terrorist organizations may use chemical and/or biological materials which could affect the region. Americans in Syria should exercise caution and take prudent measures to maintain their security. These measures include being vigilantly aware of their surroundings, avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, varying times and routes for all required travel, and ensuring travel documents are current.

The U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria, is located at 2, Al-Mansour St., Abu Roumaneh. The international mailing address is P.O. Box 29, Damascus. Mail may also be sent via the U.S. Postal Service to: American Embassy Damascus, Department of State, 6110 Damascus Place, Washington, DC 20521-6110. The Embassy telephone number is (963) (11) 333-1342, fax (963) (11) 331-9678, e-mail: Additional information may be found on the Embassy website at http://usembassy.state.gov/damascus

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Syria, the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, and the Middle East and North Africa Public Announcement which are located on the Department's internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

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