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Chinese embassy in Syria issues red alert

By Li Xiao (People's Daily)    09:44, January 09, 2018

Damascus (People’s Daily) - Chinese embassy officials in the Syrian capital of Damascus issued a red alert Sunday night, calling on all Chinese nationals in the country to be safe and prepared for any emergency after a massive explosion killed at least 30 and injured 70 in Idlib, Northeastern Syria.

So far no group has come forward claiming responsibility for Sunday’s attack.

According to local sources, the explosion stemmed from fighting between anti-Syrian forces in the rebel-controlled governorate.

Beginning in 2011, the civil war in Syria has given rise to a handful of armed factions, and all with separate political agendas and end-goals.

Within four years, anti-Syrian forces like Jabhat Fateh al-Sham had seized control of Idlib. Meanwhile, territory disputes and political views continue to fuel conflict among anti-Assad forces.

Syrian political commentator Aziz told People’s Daily that ever since Syrian military forces intensified efforts throughout the Idlib Governorate, room for armed opposition groups has become tighter.

Aziz also explained that conflicts between anti-Syrian government forces and terrorist groups immobilized in the northeastern governorate could escalate.

In December, Syrian armed forces carried out multiple combat operations against anti-government rebel groups stationed in Northeastern Hama and Idlib Governorates.

The efforts were aimed at regaining control of the southeastern region, providing access to the strategic artery stretching from Damascus to Aleppo. Intense fighting throughout the southeast forced thousands to evacuate.

Chinese embassy officials also issued a safety reminder to travel agencies back home to postpone all travel to Syria.

The official alert read:

“Up until now, Syria remains a high-risk country to visit. Conflicts between Syrian government forces and anti-government rebel factions are underway, with some areas experiencing greater conflict than others. Even in areas controlled by government forces, terror attacks, kidnapping, extortion, and armed robbery are daily concerns. Syria is unable to provide the most basic security needs for Chinese individuals or travel groups.”

"In the event of an emergency, please contact the local police or call the Chinese Embassy in Syria and the Global Consular Protection and Services Emergency Call Center at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Local police number: 112 (Crime), 110 (Emergency); Chinese Consulate in Syria Consular Protection and Assistance Tel:+963-944265018; The Global Consular Protection and Services Emergency Call Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:+86-10-12308 or +86-10-59913991."

(Compiled by Yaoran Yu and Ninuo Zhang)  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Liang Jun)

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