Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Monday, April 4, 2011     GET REAL

U.S. State Dept. advises Americans to leave Syria

WASHINGTON — The United States, in the first admission of the threat to the regime of President Bashar Assad, has urged Americans to leave Syria.


The State Department said the threat was greatest in the Syrian port city of Latakia, in which Assad's forces were battling Islamic insurgents.

"The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the potential for ongoing political and civil unrest in Syria," the State Department said. "We urge U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Syria at this time. U.S. citizens currently in Syria should consider departing."

Also In This Edition

The department in a statement on March 31, replaced a travel alert issued only a week earlier, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said Americans could be harmed in anti-regime demonstrations in a range of Syrian cities, including Damascus, Dera, Hama and Homs.

"Demonstrations in other major population centers, including Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Hama, have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between security forces and protesters, resulting in deaths, injuries, and property damage," the department's latest travel alert said. "We remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence."

Another threat was that the Assad regime would arrest Americans and charge them with espionage. The State Department pointed to statements by the Syrian state media and senior officials that foreigners were behind the anti-regime unrest.

"Syrian efforts to attribute the current civil unrest to external influences may lead to an increase in anti-foreigner sentiment," the State Department said. "Detained U.S. citizens may find themselves subject to allegations of incitement or espionage."

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.