Daily Israel Report

Kuwait Warns Citizens 'Leave Syria Now'

Kuwait warned its citizens Thursday to leave Syria "to ensure their safety" while they still can.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 12/1/2011, 4:06 PM

US President Obama and Sheikh al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait
US President Obama and Sheikh al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait
The White House

Kuwait issued an urgent warning to its citizens Thursday, telling them to leave Syria "to ensure their safety" -- while they still can.

Saudi Arabia had already issued a similar warning on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the Arab League tightened economic sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and adding 17 high-ranking officials to a ban on travel to other Arab nations.

"The Foreign Ministry's Consular Department has called on [Kuwaiti] nations currently based in the Syrian Arab Republic to leave the country to ensure their safety," reported Kuwait's state-run KUNA news agency.

"The Department also advised Kuwaiti nations to refrain from visiting Syria at this time due to lack of security."

The Arab League, Turkey, the European Union, the United States, and Canada have all tightened sanctions imposed on Damascus in response to Assad's refusal to end government violence against Syrian civilians protesting against his regime.

Since March, the United Nations has estimated that close to 4,000 people have been killed in the brutal crackdowns on the weekly demonstrations by government troops. Human rights organizations and activists, however, place the death toll much higher, at more than 4,500 dead.

Thousands more have been wounded, including many who have been tortured after being arbitrarily arrested and detained, including some children. A significant number have "disappeared" -- but specific data are not available due to the restrictions on observers and media by Syrian government troops.

The U.N. Human Rights Council earlier this week ruled Assad guilty of crimes against humanity that have been carried out by his troops, and likely at his command.