Friday, September 6, 2013

 

US orders diplomats, personnel out of Lebanon

For security concerns, the US State Department ordered nonessential diplomats out of Lebanon and urged private American citizens to leave as well.

US orders diplomats, personnel out of Lebanon: Lebanese army soldiers and policemen secure an area as they close a road leading to the U.S. embassy with barbed wire and barricades in Awkar, north of Beirut, September 6.
Lebanese army soldiers and policemen secure an area as they close a road leading to the U.S. embassy with barbed wire and barricades in Awkar, north of Beirut, September 6.
WASHINGTON — The State Department ordered nonessential US diplomats to leave Lebanon due to security concerns Friday as the Obama administration and Congress debate military strikes on neighboring Syria.

In a new travel warning for Lebanon issued early Friday, the department said it had instructed nonessential staffers to leave Beirut and urged private American citizens to depart Lebanon.

The step had been under consideration since last week when President Barack Obama said he was contemplating military action against the Syrian government for its alleged chemical weapons attack last month that the administration said killed more than 1,400 people near Damascus.

The US closed 19 embassies and consulates across Africa and the Middle East last month for more than a week after a terrorist threat. Hezbollah, an Assad ally that has sent fighters into Syria, is based in Lebanon.

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