Fact Check: US Embassy In Lebanon Was NOT On Fire On October 18, 2023

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  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: US Embassy In Lebanon Was NOT On Fire On October 18, 2023 Outside Gates

Was the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon on fire on October 18, 2023? No, that's not true: According to the caption of a photo from an image hosting site, this fire happened outside the security gates of the embassy. The embassy said in an October 18, 2023, statement it was open for business.

The claim appeared on X, formerly Twitter, on October 18, 2023 (archived here), with a photo and caption that said :


This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-10-19 at 10.33.56β€―AM.png

Twitter screenshot(Source: X screenshot taken on Thu Oct 19 14:36:50 2023 UTC)

A reverse image search of this photo led Lead Stories to an EPA Images page (archived here). There, the same photo is titled, "Protestors clash with security forces outside US embassy in Lebanon." It describes a fire erupting outside the security gates of the embassy, but not the embassy itself being on fire.

An October 18, 2023, statement (archived here) from the embassy said, "The U.S. embassy remains open for business."

The embassy's statement referred to protests in the area and cautioned: "U.S. citizens in Beirut should avoid the Awkar area on October 18 given the potential for further demonstrations following protests on October 17."

According to The Associated Press, "hundreds of protesters" clashed with security forces in the area near the embassy on October 18, 2023, in a demonstration supporting both Gaza's civilian population and the militant group Hamas. Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023, killing hundreds and sparking massive retaliation by Israel toward Hamas, which is based in Gaza.

More Lead Stories fact checks on the Hamas-Israel conflict can be found here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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