US Embassy Issues Warning as Nation Readies to Evacuate Americans

( – Terrorists connected to Hezbollah attacked the US Embassy in Beirut in 1983 and killed 63 people, including 17 Americans. The Pentagon is hoping to avoid similar bloodshed in the country as a conflict between Hezbollah militants and Israel heats up. The embassy has issued a warning to Americans in the region.

On June 27, the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, issued a security alert for Americans traveling to the country. The embassy warned that the US government didn’t have the necessary resources to protect them if the country suddenly erupted in violence. The alert also advised against travel to the Lebanon-Syria border.

Americans should ensure they have valid travel documents with them. The embassy also recommended they stay aware of their surroundings, monitor local and international media for updates, and check the embassy website for more information. Travelers should also enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

On July 1, the US Embassy in Beirut issued another alert, notifying Americans that airlines are adjusting flights in Lebanon. US citizens should closely monitor their travel plans for any changes.

The Pentagon has moved military assets closer to Lebanon in Israel so that it can quickly evacuate Americans, if necessary. Marines from the 24th Expeditionary Unit and the USS Wasp were in the Mediterranean as of June 27. The fight between Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon and Israel has intensified in recent weeks. The militants have attacked the Jewish state for months as a show of solidarity with Hamas.

The Lebanese government has refused to get involved in the conflict, hoping to avoid a larger war. US officials have reportedly expressed concern that Israel could launch a ground offensive into the neighboring country in response to increased strikes from the militants. Israel wants to create a 10-mile buffer zone near the Lebanese border to move Hezbollah away from the border. An Israeli official told NBC News they were looking for a diplomatic solution but would use force if necessary.

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