Middle East: Concerns Grow Over
The following is a message from International SOS focused on student, faculty, and staff planning to travel to regions in the Middle East.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lupita Farrell at 882-6598 or Lupita.Farrell@utb.edu.
Security Situation Warnings
Middle East July 14, 2006 14:55 GMT
Concerns Grow Over Lebanon/Israel Confrontation
This regional Warning has been prepared in addition to the International SOS Alert for Lebanon.
Concerns are rising throughout the Middle East region following the escalating confrontation between Israel and Lebanon. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly assured Syrian President Basher al-Assad that Israel would face a "fierce response" in the event that it attacked targets in Syria.
During an emergency session of the UN Security Council today, the Israeli ambassador directly accused the governments of Iran and Syria of being the driving force between Hizbullah attacks on Israel.
The situation is unlikely to improve dramatically in the short term and there are justifiable concerns that the developments between Israel and Lebanon could prompt protests and acts of civil unrest in other parts of the Middle East region. There is potential for anti-Israeli demonstrations in Syria, Jordan, UAE, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and possibly other parts of the Middle East. In the event that this does occur, sites of US diplomatic representation may become a focus for protest. There is also a possibility that high-profile western businesses may be attacked.
International SOS members currently in the region are advised to review their emergency response and crisis management plans and update them if required. Authorized persons should ensure they have an up-to-date list of all personnel in the region. Members with scheduled travel to the Middle East region are advised to defer it if non-essential. If business can be conducted in a third country or via technical means such as videoconference this is recommended.
All demonstrations should be avoided, regardless of how benign they may appear to be. Members are advised to keep a low profile and avoid locations popularly frequented by westerners.
As a precaution, members should prepare a 'grab bag' (passport, papers, valuables) and stockpile water, foodstuffs and medical supplies (if on prescription medication) in case of emergency. A first aid kit, torch and battery operated radio, (including spare batteries), are essential parts of an emergency grab bag. Mobile or satellite telephones, with fully charged spare batteries should also be carried. Emergency contact lists should be carried in hard copy in addition to those held in the digital memory of phones.
International SOS members seeking additional information on this situation should contact the 24-hour Regional Security Centres in London or Paris on +44 (0) 208 762 8008 (London), or +33 (0) 1 5563 3155 (Paris).
Posted: July 21, 2006