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Middle East Topics specific to the Middle East countries, from Syria south to Yemen
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  #1  
Old 29 Sep 2011
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Exclamation Crossing Syria during the trouble (maybe bypassing?). North South or South North

I thought i'd start this thread as we are planning on a 1 day dash across Syria in early november.

We plan to leave the UK on the 19th October and get there and across as soon as we can.

We have a UK issued 6 month multi entry Visa and are in a Land Rover. We will be happy to get any info on crossing in either direction. We will be happy to meet up for convoy if you're planning the same.

We are keeping our eye on the trouble and may cancel if it gets too dangerous. Question is though....is there any other way now Visemar isn't running ?

Hopefully someone local might pick this up and comment of how safe they think it is.

Can't use Israel becuse of the Carnet and Sudan/Israel don't mix. We have two passports but they will see the carnet and entry point into Egypt.
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  #2  
Old 29 Sep 2011
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We're in the same boat. In early December we (10 Swedes with 3 Nissan Patrols) will, as long as the border is open, drive trough Syria north to south.

The Syrian embassy in Sweden told me that it was no problem and that the borders are open.

Our plan B, Venice - Alexandria ferry, was scraped due to cancellation. .

Plan C: Try to get a tour company in Iraq to issue an invitation and hopefully obtain a visa to go round.

Plan D: Shipping to Israel (€7500!) but as you said there is a problem with carnet and passports. But maybe its doable if you take a detour and the border guys are cooperative and you have double carnets and you find someone willing to stamp the new carnet and...

Plan E: Was to to take a ferry from Turkey to Libanon but as I understand it not possible to enter Israel that way. And you'll have the same problem with stamps.
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  #3  
Old 29 Sep 2011
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Hi, can we tag along through Syria ? We would really appreciate it ! We feel a bit worried doing it on our own.

We are prepared to work round you. A month in Europe doesn't sound too bad and we can meet up in Turkey or somewhere further north in December. Please check with your travel companions and let me know. If Ian sees this you might get another tag along.

I suspect if a few of us turn up at once things will go smoother if they are pre warned of our arrival.

I've just noted that your running a commerical trip. Rest assured we'll be out of your way when we hit Jordan but i can't say we're not going in the same direction so might be running parrallel to Tanzania.
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  #4  
Old 29 Sep 2011
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Yes, of course you can join us through Syria. Always fun to meet other overlanders! But we're on a quite fixed schedule. I will PM you my contacts and the planned date of arrival to the Syrian border.
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  #5  
Old 29 Sep 2011
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just a few days ago, some friends tried twice to pass straight through Syria from north to South in a convoy, unfortunately problems in the area are decreasing..They are back in Turkey...Better you get in touch with him for more details or cooperation for the following convoy...
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000437103451

My personal idea still the same for those who are still planning to pass through Syria; keep away from the area.Thats why our Turkish friends changed ideas and started riding to Iran,Pakistan,India routes.

Wish you all the best...
mehmet zeki.
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  #6  
Old 29 Sep 2011
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I've just seen thepost for travel through Iraq and i'm pretty interested in that. Truoble is the poster doesn't say how far he got in country. Will do a bit of investigation to see if thats a possibilty if things get worse insyria which seems likely.
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  #7  
Old 29 Sep 2011
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mehmet zeki: That doesn't sound good, let's hope it doesn't apply to all border Turkey/Syria border posts. Did they have prior visa?

neill.bird: Yes, that's definitely worth looking into a little more. As I understand the Kurdistanian Iraq is safe and no problem to obtain a visa. But further south into Iraq it gets a lot tougher with worse security situation and very hard to obtain a visa if you're not born in Iraq.

I'm also doing some research right know. Anybody traveled overland through Iraq (South of Kurdistan)?
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  #8  
Old 29 Sep 2011
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i've facebooked the linked guy. See what happens. As of tomorrow i'm on this full time. Quit my job and this is all i need to do now. Pack up the house and get ready to leave.........

Im out of contact till Saturday Evening. No web access.
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  #9  
Old 30 Sep 2011
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Just spoked to the Syrian embassy in Sweden who are very helpful. Told them that there were some guys who was refused to enter at the Turkish border. They looked it up and told us there is no problem getting into Syria, but you'll need a visa in advance.

I'm positive but it would be very nice to have a report how it all worked out for the guys who were denied.

P.S. The ATM in Syria doesn't work anymore.
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  #10  
Old 2 Oct 2011
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Hi,

We are traveling the other way after three years in Africa. We know several people who have crossed Syria heading north within the last couple of months (Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, Dutch). And within the last few weeks we have met several who have crossed from Turkey (including Germans, Swiss and South African). But of course things change all the time and we haven't made a final decision yet. The ferry from Israel - though expensive - isn't a deal breaker for us as we are heading home.

We don't have visas and are considering using an agent in Damascus to get them for us and assist with border crossings (entry and exit). We were given his details by an overland truck company who have used him on previous occasions and who crossed Syria themselves at the beginning of September. We have been advised to do a 7 hour/500km dash Nassib to Bab el Hawa.

I can't vouch for him personally as we haven't used him yet and may not but am will pass on his contact details if anyone wants to make enquiries. Please pm me.
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  #11  
Old 2 Oct 2011
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@ itchyfeet38

The embassy here in the UK issued our visas in 6 days. They also issued another couples visas in six days. If you can't get them via your recommended agent i'd do the form (available online) and send your passports back from Cairo or somewhere with proper postal service. I presume with you being away for such a long time you may have two passports so this won't be an issue. The normal slow turn around for Syrian visas seems to have vanished because i don't expect they are very busy processing hundereds.
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  #12  
Old 2 Oct 2011
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Hi Neill,

Thanks for the info. No we only have the one passport (each that is).

We have talked about couriering them back but would prefer to avoid being passportless if we can. No money changes hands until we meet the agent and collect the visas so worst case scenario if we don't get through is we turn back into Jordan and head for the Israel ferry.

If we do go through Syria we will be there in about 3-4 weeks so will be sure to let you know how we go. We may even cross paths along the way!

Itchyfeet
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  #13  
Old 2 Oct 2011
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If you get through we will certainly pass somewhere in Europe. We are hoping to set off on or around the 19th October and cross Syria in first half of December. So we are killing time somewhere in Europe. We might go for somewhere warm (although the UK is very hot this week 28C !)

If you could post anything you encounter in this thread as soon as you are able. I'm aware of quite a few people with similar problems to ours (going north and south) so its a hot topic.

If you do come through Syria i'd steer clear of town centres at the moment a stay on main roads.
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  #14  
Old 2 Oct 2011
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Syria and ........

Hey fellows,

Getting into Syria can be a bit of a hassle and even a big hassle. We been refused because of our GPS the first time and because of our laptops and camera's the second time.

Getting a visa is not the problem, we had already one and also the insurance. Getting trough the police, security police and the intelligence police is the problem. If one of those find a reason for not letting you trough you are not able to cross the border.

TO BE CLEAR: your visa is NOT your pass to go trough !!!!!!

Good Luck to everybody and take care.

PS. Irak sound possible, but only in the north. You have to go trough the south to reach Jordan and the south is the problem. The guy you are talking about have only visit the north. Going trough Cyprus is a not go. One of us tried that already and he has to go back to Turkey. The only secure option is the Ferry/Plane from Greece to Israel.
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  #15  
Old 2 Oct 2011
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Richard,
when , how long ago and which crossings ?
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