BEIRUT: The U.S. Embassy in Beirut has released another security warning to its citizens in Lebanon and has suspended Fulbright and language programs due to the deteriorating security situation.
The email says that, “The U.S. Embassy has received reports of an increased possibility of attacks against U.S. citizens in Lebanon."
Echoing a warning issued last Friday, the embassy says that “Possible threats include kidnapping, the potential for an upsurge in violence, the escalation of family or neighborhood disputes, as well as U.S. citizens being the target of terrorist attacks in Lebanon.”
It adds that “The Fulbright and the English Language Fellow programs have been suspended in Lebanon due to the deteriorating security situation and the increased possibility of attacks against American citizens in Lebanon.”
Since the last warning was issued there has been a string of kidnappings in Lebanon, but they have all targeted Syrian or Turkish nationals.
The Meqdad family kidnapped over 20 Syrians and one Turkish man Wednesday, in retaliation for the abduction of their relative Hassan Meqdad in Damascus. They have since released those Syrians which it says are not members of the Free Syrian Army, but have vowed to kill the Turkish man should their relative be killed.
Also Thursday, 10 Syrians were kidnapped, five each in Beirut and the Bekaa, by a previously unknown group demanding the release of 11 Lebanese pilgrims captured in Syria in May.
Almost all Kuwaiti citizens were evacuated from Lebanon Friday morning, according to the ambassador, in response to the security situation. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have also urged their citizens to leave the country.