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US withdraws personnel from Lebanon

The US has ordered non-emergency personnel to leave Beirut, Lebanon, and has approved voluntary evacuation from Adana, Turkey.

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said in a statement:

“Given the current tensions in the region, as well as potential threats to U.S. Government facilities and personnel, we are taking these steps out of an abundance of caution to protect our employees and their families, and local employees and visitors to our facilities.”

Although the official press statement did not specify whether the move was in anticipation of spill-over violence from Syria, Harf later said in a press briefing:

“The tension in the region, including in Syria, plays a role in this. I think it would be obvious to most people and would be silly to think otherwise. So clearly that plays a role there, other regional tensions as well.”

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