Sept. 6 - The U.S. State Department orders all non-emergency diplomatic personnel and their families out of Lebanon and, at the U.S. consulate in southeastern Turkey, issues a voluntary evacuation. Sarah Irwin reports.
The U.S. tightens security at diplomatic missions in Lebanon and Turkey on Friday - because of unspecified threats. In Lebanon, the U.S. State Department ordered all non-emergency diplomatic personnel and their families out of the country - and in southeastern Turkey - a voluntary evacuation at the consulate in Andana has been ordered. U.S. citizens have been warned against traveling to these regions - and Americans in the rest of Turkey have been told to remain vigilant. Officials offered no additional information about the threats - which come just a week before the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. nats Despite the ramped up security - some U.S. citizens living in the Lebanese capital - Beirut - said they did not feel an urgency to leave. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN CITIZEN, ALEXANDRA TALTY, SAYING: "I am not going to leave because of the U.S. embassy urging its citizens to leave, but if they were to evacuate, I would leave." (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN CITIZEN, TONY GUDZ, SAYING: "It doesn't feel that urgent every time that we are asked to leave. However, the general atmosphere of things here has got a little more tense in the past couple of weeks." nats Outside the U.S. embassy in Lebanon - activists - made up of mostly Lebanese supporters of Syrian President Bashar al Assad - protested President Barack Obama's plan to strike Syria. As tensions intensify around the world over the proposed military intervention - officials said the State Department warnings did not include any mention of Syria.