US Embassy in Beirut Comes under fire

US Embassy in Beirut Comes under fire

The US Embassy in Aukar, a northern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon reported that at 8:34 AM local time small arms fire was reported in the vicinity of the entrance to the U.S. Embassy.

“Thanks to the quick reaction of the LAF [Lebanese Armed Forces], ISF [Internal Security Forces], and our Embassy security team, our facility and our team are safe,” the Embassy tweeted. “ Investigations are underway and we are in close contact with host country law enforcement.”

The attacker, a Syrian national, was wounded after a half-hour firefight and arrested. A member of the embassy’s security team was wounded in the attack. 

While authorities stated that his motives were unknown, local media reported that an Islamic State (ISIS) slogan was on his weapon. The Lebanese military said it deployed troops around the embassy and surrounding areas.

The incident comes as Hezbollah is intensifying its attacks on northern Israel. 

In September, shots were fired near the embassy with no injuries reported.

In October, scores of protesters gathered outside the embassy to demonstrate in the early days of the Gaza war, and Lebanese security forces used tear gas and water cannon to repel them.In 1983, a suicide bomber targeted the US Embasssy in Bierut, killing 32 Lebanese, 17 Americans, and 14 visitors and passers-by. It was the deadliest attack on a US diplomatic mission up to that time, and was considered the beginning of Islamist attacks on US targets. Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, both aligned with the Iranian Islamist regime, claimed repsonsibility. After the attack, the embassy was moved from the Muslim area of central Beirut to the Christian suburb of Aukar.

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