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State Dept. Issues Alert for Syria

March 25, 2011 Travel Agent

The U.S. Department of State has alerted U.S. citizens to the potential for ongoing political and social unrest in Syria. “Recent demonstrations have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between security forces and protesters, resulting in deaths, injuries, and property damage. We remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence,” State said.

“U.S. citizens are urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Media coverage of local events may cause family and friends to become concerned for the welfare of their loved ones in Syria, and we urge U.S. citizens to keep in regular contact with family or friends. This Travel Alert expires on June 24, 201," State said.

“Travelers should heed directions given by Syrian police and/or security officials and should always carry a copy of their passport as proof of citizenship and identity. Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in questioning, detention, and/or confiscation of the images. Additionally, U.S. citizens should be aware that conversations on the topics of politics, religion, and other social issues could lead to arrest,” State said.

“Syrian authorities generally do not notify the U.S. Embassy of the arrest of a U.S. citizen until days or weeks after the arrest. Moreover, in the past security officials also have not responded to Embassy requests for consular access, especially in the case of persons detained for "security" reasons,” State said.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Syria are encouraged to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the latest travel updates and information and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Syria. For further information, U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Syria available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ travel website at


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