Lines of buses and cars carrying expatriates are heading to the border between Lebanon and Syria. The government in Damascus has instructed frontier guards to relax formalities and diplomatic sources said the Israelis agreed not to attack the main road. People who reached safety spoke of their anxiety for the country they had just left.
Some Australians were interviewed in the Jordanian capital Amman: “It was our decision to leave the country, in case there was no way to get out of the country,” said one woman.
“The situation is very grim at the moment. It’s just very upsetting. We’re lucky that we’re out but we really feel for the people who are still left in Lebanon,” said another.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the country being pulled apart, destroyed. I had been told that Lebanon was beautiful but I saw it for myself with my own eyes, it’s really a tragedy,” said a third.
Other evacuees landed safely in Cyprus after being taken by chartered ferry from Beirut. Meanwhile, a mass evacuation by sea is underway. British and Greek navy ships were among the first to dock. A flotilla from the US, the UK, France, Greece and a number of other countries is waiting to take part.