Lebanese Forces Fend Off Attack On U.S. Embassy In Beirut
Lebanese army soldiers deploy near the US embassy in Beirut on June 5, 2024, after a Syrian man was arrested following a shooting near the embassy.
JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images

A Wednesday morning attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was foiled by Lebanese soldiers who shot and captured one gunman — a Syrian national who appeared to be an Islamic jihadist. One embassy security guard was reportedly injured in the attack.

The Lebanese military released a statement saying its forces shot one assailant and released photos of the bloodied alleged attacker that showed him wearing a black vest with the words “Islamic State” written in Arabic and letters “IS” written in English, the Associated Press reported. Lebanon is directly north of Israel and is the home of the Islamic terror group Hezbollah, which launched an attack on Israel one day after Hamas’ October 7 terror attack that killed more than 1,200 people, including Americans.

“At 8:34 a.m. 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 [Lebanese Armed Forces], [Internal Security Forces], and our Embassy security team, our facility and our team are safe,” the U.S. Embassy Beirut wrote on X. “Investigations are underway and we are in close contact with host country law enforcement.”

An embassy spokesman said information about the injured security guard could not be released at this time “with respect to his privacy,” adding, “we wish him a full recovery.”

Last September, a man was detained by Lebanese forces after he similarly opened fire on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. No one was injured in that attack, according to the AP. A month later, after Hamas launched its attack on Israel, hundreds of Lebanese demonstrators supporting Hamas clashed with police near the U.S. Embassy.

Since Hamas’ October 7 attack and Hezbollah’s attacks in the days and weeks following, Israel has carried out strikes inside of Lebanon taking out top Hamas and Hezbollah leaders and military facilities. Lebanon is home to many people who hold anti-American and anti-Israel sentiments.


The U.S. Embassy in Beirut has been subjected to attacks for decades. In 1983, a Hezbollah bombing on a U.S. barracks killed 241 U.S. service members and 58 French military and civilian personnel. Another attack in 1983 targeted the U.S. embassy, killing 63 people, including 17 Americans. The violence forced the U.S. to move its embassy from central Beirut to the suburb of Aukar, which was hit with another bombing attack just a year later that killed 23 people, including two American soldiers.

This article has been updated to clarify that 241 U.S. service members and 58 French military and civilian personnel were killed in a different attack than the one on the U.S. embassy in 1983. 

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