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The State Department on Friday ordered nonessential American diplomats and the families of staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut to leave Lebanon immediately due to security concerns as the Obama administration and Congress debate military strikes on neighboring Syria.
In a new travel warning for Lebanon, the department said it had instructed nonessential staffers to leave Beirut and urged private American citizens to depart the country "due to threats to U.S. mission facilities and personnel. "
"The situation remains tense, and sporadic violence involving Hezbollah or other extremist or criminal organizations remains a possibility in many areas of the country," it said