Non-essential staff return to US Embassy in Beirut

AP News
Posted: Oct 03, 2013 4:48 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department says all non-emergency workers who were ordered out of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut last month are being allowed to return to their jobs.

The department told all non-essential U.S. personnel to leave Lebanon on Sept. 6 because of fears that an American-led strike on neighboring Syria would unleash more bloodshed in the already fragile nation.

The Obama administration threatened to launch punitive missile strikes against Syria over an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack, prompting a flurry of diplomatic efforts to forestall a strike.

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Those efforts concluded with last week's U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons.

A travel warning the department issued Thursday continues to urge U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon because of violence spilling over from the Syrian crisis.