With Syria’s Civil War Spilling Across the Border, Several Persian Gulf States Are Telling Their Citizens To Leave Lebanon ‘Immediately’

The embassies of several Gulf states in Beirut, Lebanon, are telling their citizens to leave the country immediately as Syria’s civil war spills over the border.

The UAE received information about its nationals being targeted “because of the difficult and sensitive circumstances in Lebanon.”

Saudi Arabia cited “reported threats to kidnap Saudi citizens” in Lebanon, according to BBC News.

In May Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait (along with the UAE) issued similar travel warnings, urging their citizens to avoid traveling to Lebanon – which lies along the western border of Syria – and that those in the country leave immediately.

Lebanon is deeply divided between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad’s regime. The country, which was devastated by its own 15-year civil war that Syria was deeply involved in, has witnessed clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian groups over the past months, mostly in the northern city of Tripoli.

Assad’s minority Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shiite Islam that is being actively supported by Shia-dominated Iran and its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon while predominantly Sunni nations such as Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have strongly supported the rebels.

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