The U.S. Department of State issued a rare ”Worldwide Caution" alert Thursday, urging any American who is overseas to “exercise increased caution” due to “increased tensions in various locations around the world.”
The U.S. said there is also an increased potential for “terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens.”
The U.S. Embassy in Beirut also urged American citizens Thursday to make plans to leave the country “as soon as possible while commercial options are still available,” as fighting intensifies near Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.
“We recommend that U.S. citizens who choose not to depart prepare contingency plans for emergency situations,” the embassy said in an emergency alert.
The U.K. and Germany issued similar warnings to their citizens.
As part of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas around the Gaza Strip, the Iran-backed and Lebanon-based militia group Hezbollah has recently fired rockets at some northern Israeli towns, according to reports. There are concerns that tensions with Hezbollah could escalate, expanding the conflict into a regional war.
Protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Beirut earlier this week after an explosion at a hospital in Gaza. Palestinian officials said an Israeli airstrike caused the blast, while Israel blamed a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group.
The U.S. previously urged Americans not to travel to Lebanon due to “the unpredictable security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges between Israel and Hizballah or other armed militant factions.”