US State Department
US State DepartmentiStock

The US State Department on Sunday issued a security alert which advises US citizens in Lebanon to leave right away.

“US citizens who wish to depart Lebanon should leave now, due to the unpredictable security situation. There are still commercial flights available, but there is reduced capacity. Please check flight options at Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport. Please monitor local media reports and follow the instructions of security and emergency response officials,” said the alert, published by the US Embassy in Beirut.

“We have updated our Travel Advisory to Level 4: Do Not Travel. The Department of State urges US citizens not to travel to Lebanon. We recommend that US citizens in Lebanon make appropriate arrangements to leave the country; commercial options currently remain available. We recommend that US citizens who choose not to depart prepare contingency plans for emergency situations,” the statement added.

The statement comes amid continued tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border. On Saturday night, a rocket was launched toward an IDF UAV in the area of the border with Lebanon.

The IDF Aerial Defense Array intercepted the rocket, and the aircraft was not damaged. In response to the launch, IDF aircraft struck the military compound from which the rocket was launched.

In addition, IDF fighter jets struck Hezbollah military infrastructure and observation equipment, in response to the shooting incidents toward Israeli territory.

On Sunday afternoon, anti-tank missiles were launched from Lebanon towards northern Israel. In response, IDF aircraft struck a Hezbollah observation post.

In addition, a number of mortar shells were launched at Israeli territory, which landed in open areas.

On Sunday evening around 8:30 p.m., the IDF struck a terrorist cell in Lebanese territory that was planning to carry out an anti-tank missile launch toward the area of Har Dov in northern Israel.

Later in the evening, the IDF identified two Hezbollah terrorist cells in Lebanese territory. One cell was adjacent to the area of Mattat, and planned to launch anti-tank missiles toward Israeli territory. The other, located in Har Dov, planned to launch rockets.

The IDF thwarted the attacks, striking the Hezbollah terrorist cells before they fired.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hezbollah against starting a war with Israel.

“If Hezbollah decides to enter the war, it will long for the Second Lebanon War. It will be making the mistake of its life. We will strike it with force that it could not even imagine, and the ramifications of this for it and Lebanon would be destructive. But we are ready for any circumstance. You are ready for any circumstance," Netanyahu told Commando Brigade soldiers in northern Israel.