U.S. permits staff to return to Beirut Embassy
Lebanese soldiers block a road leading to the American embassy in eastern Beirut. (Image credit: AFP)
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The U.S. State Department has opened the embassy in Beirut to non-essential staff. The embassy was evacuated last month because of potential security threats in Lebanon and across the Middle East.
However, the State Department took pains to emphasize that the situation in Lebanon remains volatile. It issued a travel advisory warning U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to Lebanon.
"The potential for a spontaneous upsurge in violence remains," the State Department was quoted as saying by Reuters. "Lebanese government authorities are not able to guarantee protection for citizens or visitors to the country should violence erupt suddenly."
Due to security threats that had arisen a week before the September 11 attacks, the US had drawn down its agencies in Turkey and Lebanon due to fears of a retribution by Hezbollah in the wake of a U.S. strike in Syria.
Non-emergency workers and their families were ordered to leave Beirut. In addition, they were given permission to leave Adana, which is located near Turkey's border with Syria.