Americans advised against travelling to Lebanon due to 'unpredictable security situation'

Washington, Oct 18 (IANS): The US State Department has raised its travel advisory for Lebanon to Level 4 'Do Not Travel' due to the "unpredictable security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges between Israel and Hezbollah or other armed militant factions".

In the advisory issued on Tuesday, the Department said it will allow family members and some non-emergency US government personnel from the embassy in Beirut to voluntarily depart the country “due to the unpredictable security situation".

The advisory also noted that “large demonstrations have erupted in the wake of recent violence in Israel and Gaza” that erupted on October 7 after the Palestinian militant group launched its massive assault on the Jewish nation.

“US citizens should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings or protests as some of these have turned violent.

"Protesters have blocked major roads, including thoroughfares between downtown Beirut and the area where the US Embassy is located, and between Beirut and Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport," it added.

The advisory further warned that American "citizens who choose to travel to Lebanon should be aware that consular officers from the US Embassy are not always able to travel to assist them".

“The Department of State considers the threat to US government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security. The internal security policies of the US Embassy may be adjusted at any time and without advance notice,” it added.

The advisory also said that local security authorities have noted a rise in violent crimes, including political violence.

"Multiple unsolved killings in Lebanon may have been politically motivated. US citizens living and working anywhere in Lebanon should be aware of the risks of remaining in the country and review their personal security plans.

"Kidnapping, whether for ransom, political motives, or family disputes, has occurred in Lebanon. Suspects in kidnappings may have ties to terrorist or criminal organisations," it said.

The latest advisory comes a week after the State Department raised it travel advisory for Israel also to Level 4: Do Not Travel.



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Title: Americans advised against travelling to Lebanon due to 'unpredictable security situation'

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