HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, September 14, 2006

U.S. moves to reduce diplomatic presence in Syria

WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The United States moved on Thursday to reduce its diplomatic presence in Syria following this week's attack on its embassy in Damascus by offering free flights out of the country to non-essential diplomats and family members on a voluntary basis.

The State Department announced the move in a travel warning that alerted U.S. citizens to "increased security concerns in Syria" following the attack on Tuesday.

Four men shouting Islamic slogans tried to blow up the embassy in Damascus but their plot was foiled after Syrian guards killed three of them in a shootout.

"The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Syria," the warning said. "American citizens currently in Syria should carefully evaluate their own security situations and consider departing."

A U.S. official who asked not to be named said the decision did not reflect any further deterioration in U.S.-Syrian relations, which have long been strained. Last year Washington withdrew its ambassador to Damascus.

"It certainly isn't a reflection of any change in our diplomatic relations or anything like that," the official said. "It is just a response to the security situation."
Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org