Foreign nationals continue to leave Lebanon in their droves. Scores of UK citizens boarded a British naval ship last night bound for Cyprus. One British foreign office minister is calling it the biggest evacuation of Britons since Dunkirk. Some 5,000 are expected to leave by the end of the week.
The US is also mobilising its military in the region to take some of the 8,000 Americans based in Lebanon to safety. The scale of the operation is huge, as British High Commissioner to Cyprus Peter Millet explained. “There is a big international effort going on to ensure that all those international citizens who want to leave Lebanon can do so and each country is looking after its own, but also cooperating to look after the others,” he said.
The first few hundred French evacuees arrived in Paris last night. The government says thousands more remain in Lebanon, many tourists among them. For now though, women and children are taking priority. Meanwhile, there was an emotional reunion and some stern words in Madrid, where American-Lebanese man Ali Ryda was reunited with his Spanish wife and two daughters.
“I am ashamed and I feel sorry as an American that my tax dollars are causing the harm and bombardment of Lebanon and Lebanese people and killing the civilian people,” Ryda said.