Following the bomb attacks in Central Damascus on 23 December we have temporarily suspended provision of legalisation, notarial, documentary and passport services. Consular appointments at the Embassy building in Malki have also been suspended. See General - Consular Services, or the British Embassy website. British nationals requiring advice or urgent consular assistance in Syria should dial +963 (0)11 339 1541; outside working hours please call +963 (0)11 339 1513 and follow the insructions. For enquiries from the UK call 020 7008 6900. British nationals resident in or visiting Syria are strongly encouraged to register with us. You can do this online through our LOCATE service, by telephone to the helpline or by e-mail (British.EmbassyDamascus-ConsularEnquiries@fco.gov.uk)
We advise against all travel to the Syrian Arab Republic. British nationals in Syria should leave now by commercial means whilst these are still available. Those who choose to remain in Syria or to visit against our advice should be aware that it is highly unlikely that the British Embassy would be able to provide a consular service in the event of a further breakdown in law and order. You also need to be aware that in this event the British Embassy may not be able to help you leave Syria. If, despite our very clear advice to leave now, you choose to travel to Syria, or stay there, make sure you and your family have a valid exit stamp on your travel documents if you need one. Our current ability to provide consular assistance is limited
This advice to leave Syria is because of continued violent disturbances across the country, including the capital Damascus. Military operations and clashes between protestors and security forces have resulted in a significant number of deaths. There have also been a number of attacks on regime-affiliated targets in different parts of the country using gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades. On the morning of 23 December there were two explosions followed by small arms fire in the centre of Damascus (Kfar Sousa District). Initial reports indicate two car bombs, one at State Security HQ and the second at another security branch office.
Violent protests have taken place outside a number of Embassies and Consulates in Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia; in some cases the buildings were physically attacked and damaged. Should you choose to remain in Syria against our advice, you are advised to remain vigilant and avoid crowds, particularly around these locations.
It is likely that road networks may be blocked during disturbances or demonstrations. Several major highways including Tartous-Latakia, Tartous-Homs, Latakia-Aleppo, Homs-Hama, Homs-Damascus and Damascus-Jordan have been temporarily closed because of demonstrations or disturbances. There has also been an increase in the number of security force checkpoints on major road routes. There is an increased likelihood of large gatherings on public holidays and at weekends, particularly in the hours following Friday prayers.
Disturbances and road closures have affected access to some land border crossing points. This can happen at short notice, and it may not be possible to guarantee security along the route. You should check the status of the border crossing and access routes before travelling. The main Nasib/Jaber border crossing with Jordan is currently open, but at times it has also been affected, with limited access due to numerous road blocks along the route. You should avoid the Ar Ramtha border crossing to Jordan and the Tal Kalakh/Hdaideh crossing in to north-east Lebanon. The Nusaybin/Kamishli and Akçakale/Tel Abiyad border crossings with Turkey are currently closed. You should not attempt to enter Iraq via the Syrian border, which is subject to restrictions on both sides.
As a result of the ongoing political and security instability, certain financial transactions have become more difficult. There have been reports that service providers outside Syria are refusing to accept payment using a Syrian-issued credit or debit card; all dollar payments and dollar bank accounts in Syria have effectively been frozen; it has become very difficult to withdraw dollars and euros, and most cash withdrawals are limited to Syrian pounds.