Sandy Beaches Sans ISIS, Syria Produces Snazzy Video to Lure Tourists

Western governments, including the U.S., warn against all travel to Syria - and Tartus, with its long stretches of beach, is no exception.

Tartus in screenshot from Syrian Tourism Ministry video
Syrian Tourism Ministry

Despite the upheaval of a civil war that has been raging in the country since 2001, the Syrian Ministry of Tourism is seeking to lure foreign vacationers to the country.

Syrian Tourism Ministry's promotional video for Tartus

The ministry published a video featuring aerial views of jet skiers plying the waters of Syria's Mediterranean coast off the Syrian town of Tartus, with its long stretches of beach. But, as Foreign Policy notes, "mysteriously missing (is) damage from Islamic State suicide bombings that killed dozens in that very town this summer."

In addition, Foreign Policy notes that the August 2016 video fails to "mention that just 60 miles away, in the city of Homs, Syrian civilians are desperately sheltering themselves from a rain of government artillery and bombs."

Aerial footage of destruction in Homs, Syria RT

"Its aerial shots of the once-thriving resort town could not differ more starkly from aerial footage of Homs released by Russian news outlet RT in January, which shows a city completely leveled by incessant bombardments," the magazine said.

Since Syria has been in a state of war with Israel since the Jewish state was founded in 1948, there is no chance that the video would lure Israelis up the Mediterranean coast to Tartus. But, as Foreign Policy noted, the U.S. State Department – among other countries' foreign ministries -- cautions against visiting Syria.

In fact, the warning notes, "no part of Syria should be considered safe from violence. The potential for hostile acts exists throughout the country, including kidnappings and the use of chemical warfare against civilians."