US embassy in Lebanon says evacuating non-essential staff
WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department on Friday ordered non-essential US diplomats to leave Lebanon due to security concerns as the Obama administration and Congress debate military strikes on neighbouring Syria.
In a new travel warning for Lebanon, the department said it had instructed non-essential 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.
"We will continue to assess the situation and to adjust our security posture accordingly," deputy State Department spokesman Marie Harf said.
"The potential in Lebanon for a spontaneous upsurge in violence remains," the department's travel warning said.