Philippines issues security warning to Filipinos in Syria
The Philippines has issued a security alert to estimated 1,000 Filipino workers in Syria amid missile strikes led by the United States, France and United Kingdom on the Syrian government’s chemical weapons facilities.
Since the strikes began at 4 a.m. (Syria time) Saturday, Assistant Foreign Secretary Elmer Cato said the Philippine embassy has not received any requests for help from the estimated 500 Filipinos in Damascus and the other 500 in other parts of Syria.
In a report to the DFA. the embassy said at least three military installations in Damascus and other areas in Syria were targeted in Saturday morning's missile attacks, including one located a kilometer away from the Philippine chancery.
"It was like New Year in Manila," said Charge d'Affaires Crescente Relacion as he described the missile attack.
Filipinos were strongly advised to remain indoors, exercise vigilance and caution, and to avoid unnecessary travel.
“The embassy has issued an advisory requesting our countrymen to stay in their homes until further advise,” Cato said in a statement on Saturday.
All personnel of the Philippine Embassy in Damascus led by Relacion, are safe and accounted for, he said.
Cato said embassy has been contacting members of the Filipino community to check their condition.
Cato said the Department of Foreign Affairs will continue to monitor the situation in Syria and is prepared to provide assistance to affected Filipinos. DMS