The British government has recalled some UK embassy staff and their families from Lebanon as there are fears war could break out in the country amid escalating tensions in Gaza and with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
The Foreign Office has said the recall of embassy staff is due to the current “security situation” is the main reason for the move.
Over the weekend Hezbollah has been firing rockets and missiles into northern Israel and the Israeli Defence Force’s (IDF) have returned fire, fearing Lebanon could end up being at war.
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The British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website states, “FCDO advises against all travel to Lebanon due to risks associated with the conflict between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
“There are ongoing mortar and artillery exchanges and air strikes in South Lebanon, on the boundary with Israel. Tensions are high and events could escalate with little warning, which could affect or limit exit routes out of Lebanon.
“There is also a risk of civil unrest. There have been large protests outside embassies, including outside the US and French embassies on October 17. Further protests are expected. British nationals should exercise caution and avoid areas where demonstrations may be held.
“Due to the security situation, some staff at the British embassy and all family members of staff have been temporarily withdrawn. The embassy continues with essential work including services to British nationals.”
Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho told Sky News on Monday, “Everything that we’ve done has been to try and protect British nationals and make sure that we are, as I say, de-escalating things in the region.
“I haven’t seen this latest piece of news but the work that has been done… by the Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary and the Prime Minister is working with everyone in the region to make sure we can keep tensions in check and also that we can make sure we’re getting humanitarian aid into Gaza.”