Foreign travel advice
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Syria. British nationals in Syria should leave now by any practical means. The UK has suspended all services of the British Embassy in Damascus and all diplomatic staff have been withdrawn from Syria. The FCO is not able to provide consular services, and won’t be able to help your evacuation from the country.
The situation remains extremely volatile and dangerous. There’s widespread fighting throughout Syria, including in Damascus and its suburbs. Full scale military operations involving the use of small arms, tanks, artillery and aircraft are ongoing. The Syrian government no longer exercises control of large parts of Syria, notably in the north, south and east of the country. Areas of eastern Syria are under the effective control of Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), which is fiercely hostile to the United Kingdom.
In September 2015, Russia embarked on a military campaign in Syria in support of the Syrian regime. Since December 2015, the UK has been involved as part of the Global Coalition in carrying out air strikes in Syria against Daesh. On 7 April 2017, the US carried out missile strikes on a regime airbase in response to the reported chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaikhoun on 4 April 2017.
A number of chemical weapons attacks have taken place across Syria. The UN’s Joint Investigative Mechanism has confirmed that the regime used toxic chemical weapons in Syria on 3 occasions during 2014 and 2015 and that Daesh used sulphur mustard in Marea in 2015. The most recent estimates suggest that over 470,000 people have been killed in the Syria conflict, including over 55,000 children.
Fighting has caused the temporary suspension of commercial flights, closed roads, impeded access to land border crossing points and led to the closure of some border crossings.
In addition to the ongoing fighting, there is a high threat from terrorism. Continued attacks across Syria including in major cities, have left large numbers of people dead or injured.
There is a very high threat of kidnapping throughout Syria. There have been a number of kidnappings, including of British nationals and other Westerners, including by Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL).
If you choose to travel to Syria against FCO advice, you should make sure you and any dependents have valid exit stamps on your travel documents if you need one and take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.