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U.S. Evacuates Two Embassies As Syria Debate Heats Up

As Congress continues to debate whether to grant the President authority to strike Syria, the State Department is sending personnel home:

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.”

This is a prudent move, obviously, especially since it comes on top of the news today that the U.S. had reportedly intercepted communications from Iran authorizing militants to attack the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad if the U.S. strikes Syria.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rob in CT says:

    This is a prudent move, obviously, especially since it comes on top of the news today that the U.S. had reportedly intercepted communications from Iran authorizing militants to attack the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad if the U.S. strikes Syria.

    Agreed.

    Note, by the way, that this business is not just about what We do to Them. They might just strike back. I’m not saying that we should quake in fear of that. But when I talk about blowback, I hear a lot of indifference or dismissal. It has to be part of the consideration.

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  2. Matt Bernius says:

    @Rob in CT:

    They might just strike back.

    Are you kidding me? We’re going to launch a largely symbolic attack that will only kill really bad guys and make everyone act nice in the middle of a war zone without any repercussions that will lead to escalations in force.

    Because everything we do in the middle east always goes according to best case plan.

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  3. John Burgess says:

    Just a minor correction for The Hill

    Incirlik is not a US base; It is a NATO base. The Turks control access to it and who and what are permitted to use it. Looking back 10 years, the Turkish government notably forbade the US to fly hostile operations out of Incirlik.

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  4. DC Loser says:

    Incirlik is within missile range from Syria.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0