U.S. urges citizens to leave Syria immediately

WASHINGTON Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:14pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday urged U.S. citizens to leave Syria immediately, saying the government's violent crackdown on peaceful protests had led to an uncertain and volatile situation.

"The U.S. Department of State urges U.S. citizens in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available," the department said in a warning notice, adding future plans by U.S. citizens to travel to Syria should be deferred.

The State Department had ordered eligible family members of U.S. government employees and certain non-emergency embassy personnel to leave Syria in April.

(Reporting by Andrew Quinn, Editing by Sandra Maler)

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