U.S. to pull some Beirut staffers
A Lebanese pro-Syrian regime supporter, holds a placard with Arabic that reads, 'the Zionist-American project shall fail,' during a demonstration against a possible military strike in Syria, near the U.S. Embassy in Awkar, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. The prospect of a U.S.-led strike against Syria has raised concerns of potential retaliation from the Assad regime or its allies. The State Department ordered nonessential U.S. diplomats to leave Lebanon over security concerns and urged private American citizens to depart as well. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Photo by AP
WASHINGTON — The State Department on Friday ordered nonessential American diplomats and the families of staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut to leave Lebanon immediately because of security concerns as the Obama administration and Congress debate military strikes on neighboring Syria. The department also authorized the voluntary departure of diplomats and families at the U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey, which is the closest American diplomatic post to Syria in Turkey.
In a new travel warning for Lebanon, the department said it had instructed nonessential staffers to leave Beirut and urged private American citizens to depart the country “due to threats to U.S. mission facilities and personnel. “
“The potential in Lebanon for a spontaneous upsurge in violence remains,” it said.
“Lebanese government authorities are not able to guarantee protection for citizens or visitors to the country should violence erupt suddenly. Access to borders, airports, roads and seaports can be interrupted with little or no warning,” the statement said. “Public demonstrations occur frequently with little warning and have the potential to become violent. Family, neighborhood or sectarian disputes often escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with little or no warning.”
Americans in Lebanon “should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks,” it said, adding that those who chose to stay “should prepare to depart at short notice.”
The step had been under consideration since last week when President Obama said he was contemplating military action against the Syrian government for its alleged chemical weapons attack last month.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.