In the midst of escalating tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, the U.S. State Department is advising American citizens in Lebanon to consider leaving the country immediately. This warning comes as cross-border fighting intensifies, raising concerns about the safety of Americans in the region.
In a travel advisory posted to X, the State Department stated, “The [State Department] recommends that U.S. citizens in Lebanon leave now while commercial flights remain available due to the unpredictable security situation.”
Americans currently in Lebanon are also advised to have a crisis action plan in place that doesn’t rely on assistance from the U.S. government, as officials warned that there is no guarantee that the U.S. government will evacuate private U.S. citizens and their family members in a crisis situation due to the rarity of U.S. military-assisted evacuations of civilians from a foreign country. Hence, it is emphasized that the best time to leave a country facing a potential crisis is before it occurs.
Lebanon: The @StateDept recommends that U.S. citizens in Lebanon leave now while commercial flights remain available due to the unpredictable security situation. Available flight options at Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport: https://t.co/gGE8JI7tXA
Have a plan of action… pic.twitter.com/UsLjaYze5l
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) November 4, 2023
The warning comes as Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militant group based in Lebanon, has been making threats to escalate military actions against Israel, leading to heightened tensions in the area. In response, Israel has launched targeted strikes against Hezbollah positions within Lebanon, while Hezbollah itself has fired rockets at Israeli troops.
The concerns over the situation are not unfounded, as Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has openly praised the Oct. 7 attack in which Hamas terrorists targeted Israeli farming villages, towns, and military posts, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,400 people and the taking of hundreds of hostages back to Gaza.
According to Nasrallah, the Israelis themselves were responsible for the gruesome attack, which he referred to as “a glorious operation” and “a brave, heroic, creative, perfect, massive operation commended at all fronts and at all levels.”
The Friday speech by Nasrallah also saw him express a strong stance against the United States, referring to it as “The Great Satan” and holding it responsible for the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
“The United States is totally responsible for the war raging in Gaza… It is the United States, proving once again, as described by [former Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah] Khomeini, it is the greatest Satan, the great devil,” he stated.