The department did not announce any evacuation of the U.S. embassy in
Syria. The travel warning said Americans "who must remain in Syria are
advised to limit non-essential travel within the country. U.S. citizens not
in Syria should defer all travel to Syria at this time."
The Assad regime has placed severe constraints on the travel of
diplomats within Syria, the department said. This was said to have included
restrictions on U.S. consular officers to provide assistance outside
"Syrian government constraints on observers, including the short-term
detention of accredited diplomats, have made it difficult for U.S. embassy
personnel to adequately assess the current risks or the potential for
continuing violence," the department said.
The statement said Damascus and several other cities contain a heavy
deployment of security forces. The department said security forces have
increased checkpoints along highways.
"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," the department said. "Taking photographs of
demonstrations, public gatherings, or anything that could be perceived as
being of military or security interest may result in questioning, detention,
and/or confiscation of the images."
At the same time, President Barack Obama has been consulting with
leaders of NATO allies regarding the revolt in Syria. On Aug. 6, Obama
conducted telephone conversations with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and
German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding additional sanctions on Damascus.
"They welcomed the Aug. 3 presidential statement by the UN Security
Council condemning Syria's actions, but also agreed to consider additional
steps to pressure the Assad regime and support the Syrian people," the White