Wednesday, January 11, 2012

U.S. Embassy Further Reduces Staff In Syria

As the security situation in Syria worsens, the State Department today issued a new travel warning:
This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated December 21, 2011, and is being updated to reflect that on January 11, 2012, the Department of State has ordered a further reduction in staffing of the U.S. Embassy in Syria. Due to security concerns in Syria, in October 2011, the embassy was designated an unaccompanied post with restricted staffing. The Department has decided to further reduce the number of employees present in Damascus, and has ordered a number of employees to depart Syria as soon as possible. U.S. citizens should avoid all travel to Syria. The U.S. Department of State urges U.S. citizens currently in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available. The number of airlines serving Syria has decreased significantly since the summer months, and many of the remaining airlines have reduced their number of flights. U.S. citizens who must remain in Syria should limit nonessential travel within the country. Due to further reductions in U.S. Embassy staff and as a result of the deteriorating security situation, the Consular Section will no longer have hours during which it is open to the public. Effective immediately, all consular services are by prearranged appointment only. Our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency is extremely limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation.
Read the whole thing here.

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