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US citizens urged to flee Syria

US citizens urged to flee Syria

Officials at the US State Department have urged all citizens still in Syria to “depart immediately” while commercial transportation is readily available.

Political circumstances in the Middle Eastern country have continued to deteriorate in recent days, with the US acknowledging the “volatility of the current situation”.

Those choosing to remain are urged to limit nonessential travel within the country, while all travel to Syria is proscribed. 

In turn, the Department of State has ordered all eligible family members of US government employees, as well as certain non-emergency personnel, to depart Syria. 

Embassy operations will continue to the extent possible under the constraints of an evolving security situation. 

Crisis in Syria

Since March 2011, demonstrations throughout Syria have been violently suppressed by Syrian security forces, resulting in hundreds of deaths. 

Recent demonstrations have occurred on university campuses, main streets, public squares, mosques, and other places of public gathering. 

The situation prompted the UK to issue a travel warning earlier this week.

In Syria, several cities, including the capital Damascus, have been placed under heightened security.

Travellers on Syrian roads have encountered an increased number of checkpoints and roadblocks impeding travel and preventing entry to or exit from affected cities.

Anti-Western Angle

Syrian efforts to attribute the current civil unrest to external influences may lead to an increase in anti-foreigner sentiment. 

Detained US citizens may find themselves subject to allegations of incitement or espionage, warned the State Department.