Taiwan issues advisory against travel to Syria
CNATAIPEI--Taiwanese citizens should refrain from traveling to Syria, as a Western military strike on the country might be imminent, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.
August 30, 2013, 11:12 am TWN
International pressure has been building for a strike on the Assad regime over its alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in a Damascus suburb earlier this month, MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao said at a regular news briefing.
Against this backdrop, Kao said, MOFA has issued a red travel advisory against trips to Syria.
Under MOFA's four-color travel advisory system, the red alert is the highest level of warning.
The ministry is also keeping close tabs on developments in the region, Kao said.
As Syria has been plagued by civil war for several years, there are currently no Taiwanese citizens in that country, she added.
Lee Rem-loong, deputy director-general of the MOFA's Department of West Asian and African Affairs, said there used to be eight or nine Taiwanese students in Syria, as well as two Taiwanese women married to Syrian citizens.
“But all of them have left Syria in the past few years due to the deteriorating security situation there,” Lee said.
If Western countries, including the United States and Britain, indeed launch a strike on Syria over the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against its own people, an influx of refugees could flee to neighboring Israel and Jordan, Lee said.
Moreover, he went on, extremists might even take advantage of the turmoil to launch terrorist attacks in Israel.