Tensions are escalating.
The U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory on Friday, urging U.S. citizens in Lebanon to depart as soon as possible due to the uncertain security situation in the region.
According to Newsmax, in the advisory, it recommended that U.S. nationals should leave immediately, making use of available commercial flights, and also have a crisis plan in place that doesn’t rely on U.S. government assistance. The advisory emphasized the importance of leaving a country before a crisis if possible and noted that there is no guarantee of U.S. government evacuation support in a crisis.
Furthermore, the advisory included guidelines for those considering military-assisted evacuation, which included restrictions on bringing pets, no assurance of in-country transportation, and a commitment to reimburse the U.S. government for any incurred costs. The U.S. Embassy in Beirut can be reached at 961-4-543-600 locally or 1-833-890-9595 toll-free.
This advisory comes in the context of recent events, including Israel Defense Forces’ ground operation in the Gaza Strip, aimed at disrupting the Palestine government’s control in the region. Israel’s military spokesperson mentioned an expansion of ground activities in Gaza, while there were reported nighttime clashes with Israeli forces near the border.
The proximity of Lebanon to Israel and the presence of the Hezbollah group near the Israeli border, which is backed by Iran and has threatened to attack Israel, are factors contributing to the security concerns in the region. It’s worth noting that the U.S. had previously cautioned Israel about escalating actions against Hezbollah due to the potential for a broader conflict involving the U.S. and Iran.