US evacuates Middle East embassies

The Obama administration is evacuating some of its Middle Eastern embassies amid threats of retaliation for a U.S. strike on Syria.

The State Department has ordered a drawdown of non-emergency personnel in Beirut, Lebanon, because of concerns of an attack by Syria ally Hezbollah.

The department has also approved the drawdown of non-emergency personnel and family members who wish to leave Adana, Turkey, which is located five miles from the U.S. Air Force base at Incirlik.


“Given the current tensions 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,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

“We will continue to assess the situation and to adjust our security posture accordingly.”

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad is also on heightened alert after reports that intelligence agencies intercepted a message from Iran's Revolutionary Guards telling Shiite militia groups in Iraq to attack U.S. interests there. 

The U.S. military has readied Marines and other assets to aid evacuation of diplomatic compounds if needed, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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