Syria Risk Assessment Country Guide

Working Abroad in Syria

Once home to some of the world's greatest empires, modern Syria is now a diverse but troubled nation. Numerous conflicts are ongoing within the Middle Eastern country, which makes appropriate international insurance vital.

According to the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), full-scale military operations are underway across Syria, including the capital of Damascus. Conflicts have included the use of tanks, small arms, artillery and aircraft, as well as reports of chemical weapons. As a result, many roads are closed, access is restricted to land border crossing points and some commercial flights have been temporarily suspended.

Syria is also under constant threat from terrorism, kidnapping and other risks often targeting expats and foreign travelers. Given the political and security instability in the country, individuals either living in Syria or planning on visiting should use extreme caution.

On March 31, 2016, the State Department reissued a travel warning for Syria from August 27, 2015 asking those currently in Syria to depart immediately. The security situation remains dangerous and unpredictable as violent conflict between government and armed anti-government groups continues throughout the country, along with an increased risk of kidnappings, bombings, murder, and terrorism.

 

  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Terrorism

There were 36 cases of polio reported in Syria in 2013 and one case in 2014. The CDC recommends polio vaccination for travelers going to Syria or neighboring countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanoon, and Turkey to avoid cross-border transmission. While the Syrian country itself does not pose many severe health risks, the ongoing conflict has directly impacted the overall level of available health care.

Quality treatment and access to facilities in Syria is limited. Many hospitals are no longer in operation, and there is a lack of basic medicines and crucial supplies.

Clements Worldwide provides Expat Health Insurance so you can receive care from anywhere in the world. A policy includes USD 5 million in health care benefits, as well as an optional War and Terrorism extension. This coverage means you will have the funds  necessary for healthcare in the event of injury resulting from acts of war and terror.

Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance policy from Clements should be considered while living in Syria. Coverage insures expenses to transport you to a capable medical facility in case a local medical center isn’t able to provide adequate treatment.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Syria.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Clements Worldwide 

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There is a high level of violence reported across Syria. Many commercial flights and other methods of transport are restricted as a result. Overall, the political situation is unstable, and security checkpoints are common on major roadways.

On October 11, 2016 the United States Department of State updated a warning against travel to Syria as the country continues to experience unpredictable violence and unrest related to the ongoing civil conflict. Authorities warn of risk of kidnapping, bombings, murder, and acts of terror across the country. Additionally, civil infrastructure has been destroyed and the country is at risk of chemical weapons, shelling, and aerial bombardment related to the conflict between the Syrian Government, Al-Nusrah Front, ISIS, and other international forces.

Some foreign workers may be at risk. For example, journalists operating in opposition-held regions are vulnerable, and a number have been killed. Others have been detained, questioned and had their equipment confiscated.

The road conditions throughout Syria are in poor condition. Due to the ongoing military conflict, many road networks have been blocked without warning, such as Tartous-Latakia, Tartous-Homs, Homs-Hama and Damascus-Jordan. The accident rate is high in the country.

Clements offers Overseas Car Insurance, which includes Physical Damage, Third Party Liability, and Excess Liability coverage. With flexible deductible options and fast claims processing, your policy will provide coverage for your vehicle fleet whether it’s on the road, parked or transported abroad.

An optional Political Violence extension is also recommended, which broadens the coverage to include strikes, riots, malicious damage, sabotage, war, terrorism or civil unrest. 

Clements also provides Personal Accident insurance, which protects your organization’s employees and their families from financial stability following an accident, regardless of whether it occurs on the job or during personal time. Coverage begins at USD 100,000 per person.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Syria.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

Terrorist attacks occur frequently in Syria. Bombings have targeted major cities with a large number of casualties including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. Common targeted places include government buildings, road checkpoints, border crossings, shopping areas, airports, transportation and other public locations. Shootings, bombings, suicide bombs and vehicle bombs have all been reported. 

Terrorism groups including the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIL), formerly known as al-Qa'ida in Iraq, and the al-Nusrah Front, are active and claimed responsibility for kidnappings, suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices, indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment, and other violent crimes in Syria. Recently, British nationals and other Westerners have been targeted, with some hostages even being killed. Terrorist groups have focused on Non-Government Organizations, journalists and other humanitarian aid work. U.S. citizens have also disappeared within Syria. 

On October 27, 2016 the Islamic State killed 3 children and injured 14 students in rocket attacks on schools and neighborhood houses in Aleppo.

On October 23, 2016 a convoy of fighters was attacked by unknown assailants in a car bombing. One person was killed and three others were injured in the attack on the Kurdish town of al-Qamishli.

On October 16, 2016 a suicide bomber killed three people and injured 20 others in the Syrian city of Rakban. The Islamic State attack targeted Syrian refugees near the Jordanian border.

On October 13, 2016 Islamic State militants accused 2 women of adultery subsequently executed them as apostates. In a separated attack, the Islamic State carried out a car bombing, killing more than twenty people and killing dozens more.

On October 11, 2016 more than 10 people were killed in an Islamic State suicide bombing in Manbij, Northern Syria. In addition to those killed, 20 people were injured.

On October 6, 2016 the Islamic State attacked opposition fighters on the border with Turkey. Twenty-nine people were killed in the suicide attack and more than twenty others were injured.

On October 3, 2016 the Islamic State carried out a suicide bombing in al-Hasakah. 32 people were killed and more than 100 people were injured in the attack that occurred during a Kurdish wedding celebration.

On October 1, 2016 the jihadist terrorist group Jund al-Aqsa carried out three executions in al-Lataminah, Syria.

On September 29, 2016, in connection to the ongoing Syrian civil war, the Islamic state executed 15 people in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor.

On September 24, 2016, a car bomb exploded killing 12 people including a Syrian government minister in the south of Syria. The Islamic State claimed the attack that also injured 30 other people.

On September 18, 2016, one person was killed when soldiers associated with the Islamic terrorist organization ISIS shot down a state military warplane.

On September 12, 2016, the terrorist organization ISIS accused and executed 19 people for spying on behalf of the United States.

On September 9, 2016, three Turkish soldiers were killed in an attack perpetrated by the Islamic State in Syria. The soldiers operated a tank patrolling the Tel al-Hawa region of the country.

On September 5, 2016, a series of suicide car bombs exploded in Tartus, Homs, Damascus, and Hasakah. The attacks killed between 48 and 53 people and injured several others.

On September 3, 2016, two people were killed when their helicopter was targeted and attacked by terrorists active in the Hama region of Syria.

On August 15, 2016, at least 32 people were killed in a suicide bombing on a bus in Idlib province.

On August 4, 2016, at least 30 civilians were killed by shelling. Fifty rebels were killed and 10 others injured in retaliatory actions.

On August 3, 2016, 2 YPG volunteers were killed in a clash with ISIS in the Syrian town of Manbij.

On August 3, 2016, at least 7 people were killed and 25 others were injured after toxic shelling of civilian areas.

On August 1, 2016, 5 people were killed when a Russian Mi-8 medical transport helicopter was shot down.

On August 1, 2016, 31 people were killed in shelling by ISIS. At least 20 rebels were killed in retaliatory actions.

On July 29, 2016, Islamic State militants executed 24 people near Manbij.

On July 27, 2016, a terrorist associated with the Islamic State detonated a van filled with explosives near Qamishli. More than 50 people were killed and more than 140 others were injured in the attack.

On July 9, 2016, more than 36 people were killed in mortar and other attacks in Aleppo. More than 143 others were wounded in the attacks attributed to rebel terrorist militant groups.

On July 5, 2016, the Islamic State kidnapped 40 people and, when they attempted to escape, executed them near Um al-Housh.

On June 29, 2016, at least 10 people were killed and 25 injured after a suicide bomber drove his car into a building and blew himself up. Four more people were killed and 12 injured after a rocket attack onto a neighborhood.

On June 11, 2016, ISIS massacred 40 civilians, and killed 6 more via shellings. Thirty-five were injured by the shelling, and unknown amount of people were injured by the shootings. ISIS was disguised as Kurdish fighters. Three more were killed and 15 injured in a sniping attack.

On June 9, 2016, a wave of attacks in Aleppo left at least 54 dead and 93 injured. The attacks included shellings that killed people and destroyed buildings.

On June 5, 2016, ISIS executed over 30 people on charges of spying after the killing of Abu Hayjaa al-Tunsi.

On June 4, 2016, over 40 people were killed after shellings, and at least 14 attackers were killed in the continuing Syrian Civil War.

On May 23, 2016, nearly 150 people are killed and at least 200 wounded in a series of car bomb and suicide attacks in the Syrian cities of Jableh and Tartus in government-controlled territory that hosts Russian military bases. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claims responsibility.

On May 12, 2016, forty-two confirmed civilians and seven National Defence Forces militiamen were killed in the militant attack on the Alawite village of Zara'a, Hama Governorate. Around 70 other civilians, including women and children were kidnapped and taken to Al-Rastan. On May, 24 2016, the Syrian Red Crescent convinced the militants to hand over 49 victim bodies. They were transported by the Syrian Army to the Homs Military Hospital for identification the next day.

On May 11, 2016, the Islamic State buried 45 men alive in Qayyarah vicinity in Nineveh Governorate.

On May 5, 2016, at least 12 people have been killed and 45 injured, some of them seriously, in twin suicide blasts in the Syrian city of Homs, a car and a motorcycle exploded in the Mukharram al-Fawqani area in the eastern part of the city.

On April 7, 2016, a district of Aleppo in Syria controlled by Kurdish fighters have been the target of a chemical attack by Islamic terrorists. Videos show a yellow gas rises above the Sheikh Maksoud neighborhood.

On April 2, 2016, Islamic State militants used mortar shells containing a poisonous chemical on an attack on a Syrian military airbase in Deir ez-Zor.

On February 21, 2016, two bombings occurred in pro-Government, mainly Shia inhabited, Zahraa neighborhood in Homs. The first blast was caused by a car bomb and the second one was a result of a car bomb or a suicide bombing. 57 people were killed and at least 100 wounded. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

On February 21, 2016, Islamic State militants detonated a car bomb and later launched two suicide bombings, about 400 meters from Sayyidah Zaynab Mosque, a Shia shrine, believed to contain the grave of Prophet Muhammad's granddaughter. 83 to 134 people were killed and 180 wounded, including children. Syrian media said the attack occurred when pupils were leaving school in the area. At least 60 shops were damaged as well as cars in the area. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

On February 3, 2016, at least 15 people were killed and 58 injured, after rockets reportedly fired by rebels hit pro-government neighborhoods in the southern city of Daraa.

On January 31, 2016, multiple suicide attacks and a car bomb hit the Syrian capital of Damascus, killing more than 70 people.

On January 16, 2016, Islamic State militants attacked the neighborhoods of Begayliya and Ayash in Deir ez-Zor, killing dozens of people in execution style murder. Fatality estimates variates between 135 and over 300. International sources reported that the attack was against Syrian Army personal and killed 85 Syrian soldiers along with 50 civilians while Syrian sources said over 300 people were killed, most of whom were children and women. The Islamic State organization claimed responsibility for the attack and claimed suicide bombers were used.

On December 30, 2015, three suicide bombers blew themselves up in restaurants in the Kurdish controlled northeastern Syrian town Kamishli, targeting the town's Kurdish and Assyrian Christian populations.

On December 28, 2015 in Homs, suicide bombers detonated their explosives in Homs, killing at least 32 and wounding another 90. The blasts, one from a car bomb and another from a suicide attack, struck the Zahra district in the middle of the city. No group claimed responsibility.

On December 12, 2015 in Homs, militants detonated a car bomb near a hospital in central Homs killing sixteen civilians and wounding another 54. ISIL has claimed responsibility.

On December 11, 2015 in Tell Tamer, three truck bombs killed up to 60 people and injured more than 80 in the town of Tell Tamer in Syria's northeastern Al Hasakah province. The blasts struck near a Kurdish militia forces field hospital and in the crowded Souk Al Jumla market square, where the majority of the fatalities occurred.

On September 2, 2015, a car bomb in Latakia, Syria exploded in front of a school that killed 10 people and injured 25 others. On September 4, 2015, two other car bombs (one outside of a hospital) killed 26 people and injured more than 50 others in the city Al-Suwayda, Syria. 

A Political Violence Insurance policy from Clements offers the right coverage against the risks of civil unrest, war, riots, looting and acts of terrorism.

With Clements, you can elect to have a Kidnap and Ransom Insurance policy. Coverage ensures financial assistance following a kidnapping, such as independent investigations, negotiations, and the arrangement and delivery of funds.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Syria.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, U.S. Dept of State, and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions