On Friday, the State Department ordered all non-essential American diplomats and the families of staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut to leave Lebanon immediately due to security concerns as Congress and the Obama administration weigh whether to launch military strikes on nearby Syria.
Furthermore, the department also authorized the voluntary departure of diplomats and families at the U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey, the closest American diplomatic post to Syria in Turkey.
The department is also urging private American citizens to leave Lebanon "due to threats to U.S. mission facilities and personnel" and added:
"The potential in Lebanon for a spontaneous upsurge in violence remains."
A travel warning from the State Dept. read:
"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. 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."