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Cablegate: Travel Warning - Syria

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O 142316Z APR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 9890
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE IMMEDIATE 0655
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE IMMEDIATE 6114
RUEHFSI/DIR FSINFATC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA 6640
RUCPDOC/ALL USDOC DISTDIR COLLECTIVE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDRAMC FT BELVOIR VA//AMCMI-SS//
RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC//XOXXI//
RHMCSUU/HQ AFOSI DOQ ANDREWS AFB MD//IVOA//
RHMCSUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC//ACI-400//
RHMFIUU/COMNAVAIRSYSCOM PATUXENT RIVER MD//AIR1031B//
RHMFIUU/NRC WASHINGTON DC//INFOSEC//
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ2-JIT//
RUCPCIM/CIM NTDB WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
INFO RUESBKC/ATO ASIA IMMEDIATE 1643

UNCLAS STATE 039168

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC PTER ASEC SY
SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING - SYRIA

1. This Travel Warning alerts U.S. citizens to ongoing
safety and security concerns in Syria. American citizens
are urged to thoroughly consider the risks of travel to
Syria and to take adequate precautions to ensure their
safety. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Syria
issued on September 18, 2007.

2. A number of terrorist groups that oppose U.S. policies
have offices in Syria. Since 1979, the United States has
designated Syria a State Sponsor of Terrorism due to its
support for organizations such as Hizbollah, Hamas, and
Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In addition, other extremist
groups are present in Syria. These groups have the
potential to be either the targets of or perpetrators of
acts of violence. On February 12, 2008, an explosion
occurred in the residential Kafer Soseh neighborhood of
Damascus, killing Imad Moughniyeh, a senior Hizbollah
operative. In 2006, the U.S. Embassy in Damascus was
attacked by terrorists armed with guns, grenades, and a car
bomb. The Syrian Government has allowed anti-U.S.
demonstrations to occur; the latest was on March 3, 2008.
Anti-U.S. demonstrations date back to September 2005, some
of which have turned violent and led to damage to Western
embassies, including the U.S. Embassy.

3. U.S. citizens who remain in or travel to Syria are
encouraged to register at the consular section of the U.S.
Embassy in Damascus, and to obtain updated information on
travel and security in Syria. Americans in Syria should
exercise caution and take prudent measures to maintain
their security. These measures include being aware of
their surroundings, avoiding crowds and demonstrations,
keeping a low profile, varying times and routes for all
travel, and ensuring travel documents are current.

4. U.S. consular personnel remain available to provide
emergency information and services to American citizens.
The U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria, is located at 2, Al-
Mansour St., Abu Roumaneh. The Embassy telephone number is
(963) (11) 3391-4444, fax (963) (11) 331-9678, e-mail:
acsdamascus@state.gov. American citizens may register with
the Embassy online by visiting
https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs. Additional
information may be found on the Embassy website at
http://usembassy.state.gov/damascus.

5. Updated information on travel and security in Syria may
be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-
407-4747 within the United States and Canada or, from
overseas, 1-202-501-4444. Additional details can be found
in the Department of State's Country Specific Information
for Syria, and the Worldwide Caution, which are available
on the Department's Internet website at
http://travel.state.gov.

6. Minimize considered.
RICE

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