State Dept. issues travel warning on Syria

AP News
Posted: Apr 03, 2011 11:20 PM
State Dept. issues travel warning on Syria

The State Department issued a warning Sunday for U.S. citizens traveling in Syria, citing political and civil unrest. Citizens are urged to defer nonessential travel, and eligible family members of U.S. government workers are authorized to leave the country.

The warning advised Americans against all travel to Latakia, Daraa and nearby towns and villages. The warning reminded U.S. citizens "that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence."

The State Department is urging U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations, if possible, and exercise caution if demonstrations are nearby.

The department also warns of a possible increase in "anti-foreigner sentiment."

"Detained U.S. citizens may find themselves subject to allegations of incitement or espionage," the statement read. The government said Syrian authorities do not notify the U.S. of the arrest of a U.S. citizen until days or weeks after an arrest, and requests for consular access go unanswered, especially in the case of those detained for "security" reasons.



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