BEIRUT: Kuwait took measures to evacuate its citizens from Lebanon and the United Kingdom warned against traveling to the country amid a deterioration of the security situation linked to the Syrian uprising against President Bashar Assad.
A Kuwait Airways plane was scheduled to arrive around midnight Friday to evacuate some Kuwaiti nationals from Lebanon, a security source told The Daily Star.
It was expected to evacuate a specific group of Kuwaitis, the source said, adding that the flight was an exceptional one and not part of the Kuwait-Beirut daily route.
Tensions have been simmering in the region after Western powers hinted they would launch a military strike against the Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons last week.
The security situation in Lebanon, linked to the crisis in Syria, has been deteriorating, with a recent spate of car bombings in Beirut’s southern suburbs and the northern city of Tripoli.
Earlier Friday, the U.K. advised its citizens against all but essential travel to Lebanon due to spiking regional tensions and an increase in violence linked to Syria.
“We have taken a tough call to change our advice temporarily and discourage travel to Lebanon,” British Ambassador Tom Fletcher tweeted.
“For Brits intending to travel to Lebanon, this means that you need to assess whether your trip really is essential. For Brits already in Lebanon, you should consider whether it’s essential that you remain for the coming period,” Fletcher wrote in a blog post.
In its travel advisory, the British Embassy also warned of the high threat of terrorism in the area.
“The security situation can deteriorate very quickly. There is potential for further violence, which could restrict departure options,” the warning said.
The official travel advisory also warned against all travel to Tripoli, the Syrian border, parts of the Bekaa Valley and Beirut’s Hezbollah-controlled southern suburbs.
British Airways said its flight schedule to Beirut would remain unchanged, but it would show flexibility if passengers wished to cancel their flights.