The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Syria. British nationals in Syria should leave now by any practical means. 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 is 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 the north, south and east of the country. Areas of eastern Syria are under the effective control of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is fiercely hostile to the United Kingdom. Beginning on 30 September, Russia has also embarked on a wave of air strikes in Syria backing an offensive launched by troops loyal to the Assad regime.
In Aleppo and elsewhere, the regime has been undertaking an indiscriminate campaign of aerial bombardment since mid-December 2013, using so called ‘barrel’ bombs – huge containers packed with explosives and shards of metal dropped by helicopter – against largely civilian targets. A number of chemical weapons attacks have taken place across Syria, most notably on 21 August 2013, where a major attack took place in the suburbs of Damascus. Latest estimates are of 220,000 dead, including well over 10,000 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.
There is a high threat from terrorism. There are continued attacks across Syria including in major cities, leaving 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 ISIL.
If you choose to travel to Syria against FCO advice, you should make sure you and your family have valid exit stamps on your travel documents if you need one and take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance.
As a result of the ongoing political and security instability and the implementation of sanctions against some Syrian institutions, financial transactions have become significantly more difficult. See Money.