Friday, September 6, 2013

US Evacuates Its Non-Essential Staff from Beirut; Urges Americans Quit Lebanon Due to Syrian War

The United States evacuated non-essential staff from its Beirut embassy today (September 6, 2013) and urged Americans not to travel to Lebanon, Pakistan, or southern Turkey, as Washington considers deadly strikes against neighboring Syria, according to the AFP (Agence France Press) website.

"The Department of State has ordered a drawdown of non-emergency US government personnel and family members in Beirut, Lebanon and approved the drawdown of non-emergency personnel and family members who wish to leave Adana, Turkey," deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

The evacuations come as the United States has been trying to build support for US military strikes on the Syrian regime in retaliation for its alleged use of chemical weapons in an August 21 attack on Damascus suburbs. It now appears that U.S. President Obama is determined to bomb Syria as early as September 10, 2013.

The evacuation decision had been made due to "current tensions in the region, as well as potential threats to US government facilities and personnel," Harf said. She refused to indicate approximately how many people were involved in the evacuation.

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