BEIRUT, Lebanon – The United States is working on a plan to evacuate American citizens from Lebanon to the neighboring island of Cyprus, the U.S. Embassy said Saturday.
"We are looking at how we might transport Americans to Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, Americans can then board commercial aircraft for onward travel," an embassy statement said.
The State Department said Friday that Americans in Lebanon should consider leaving when it is safe to do so, and officials made contingency plans for the evacuation of people who cannot leave on their own.
"Our best advice is for people to assess their security situation," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday. "Right now ... from the U.S. government perspective, there aren't any reliable ways to get out by air, land or sea."
Israeli airstrikes targeting runways have closed down Beirut international airport. Israel has also imposed a naval blockade on the country and has made road travel dangerous by targeting the main highway between Lebanon and neighboring Syria.