WASHINGTON — The United States has alerted American women to be on guard against sexual offenses in
The U.S. embassy in Damascus has reported a spate of sexual attacks on
foreigners in Damascus. In a June 6 warden message, the embassy said the
attacks targeted foreign women, Middle East Newsline reported.
"Two incidents in the past week involved women walking alone, either in
the early morning or early evening," the embassy said. "Another incident
occurred several months ago when two women were walking together in one of
the tunnels crossing underneath the Autostrad near Damascus University."
The warden message cited other reports of female U.S. embassy employees
being sexually harassed by Syrian taxi drivers. The embassy reported two
cases of female staffers being fondled during taxi rides.
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"Though none of these cases went beyond the stage of grabbing or
groping, they were understandably upsetting for the victims," the embassy
The embassy stressed that Damascus, with a population of seven million,
maintains a low crime rate. The warden message urged Americans not to walk
alone and avoid deserted areas.
"Don't assume because you are close to home that this type of incident
cannot happen," the message said. "In both recent cases, the victims were
close to home, although alone at the time."