July 20th, 2006 15:19 EST
Lebanon Response Report
The United States is using all available means to ensure safe passage of American citizens out of Lebanon , including chartered commercial ships, U.S. military aircraft, and U.S. military ships en route to the Eastern Mediterranean .
Approximately 3,700 American citizens have been transported out of Lebanon by the United States since Sunday, July 16, 2006.
This number includes more than 2,250 departees who left Beirut via the USS Nashville, the Orient Queen, and helicopter flights on Thursday, July 20, most of whom are Americans. Among those on the Orient Queen are the 341 passengers from Southern Lebanon . Our Embassy in Damascus has confirmed another 400 people made it out by land to Syria .
The first charter flight arrived today at Baltimore-Washington Airport , carrying 138 people. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Red Cross, Maryland state government, local, federal officials were present to provide assistance.
A convoy from Southern Lebanon brought 341 American citizens out of harm's way by bus and they are now on the Orient Queen for onward travel to Cyprus .
We transported over 1,200 citizens out of Lebanon to Cyprus yesterday, Wednesday, July 19, 2006
160 via helicopter flights (2 sorties of 2 helicopters each)
1,040 Americans arrived in Cyprus on the Orient Queen
10 via Canadian chartered ships
Helicopter flights (4 sorties of 2 helicopters each)
The MS Ramah, a Saudi-owned, Panamanian-flagged, passenger vessel
The Orient Queen
The Vittoria M, a United States-chartered Italian passenger vessel
Canadian chartered ships
Canadian ship Blue Dawn
The USS Nashville
The USS Iwo Jima
The USS Whidbey Island
The USS Trenton
The USS Swift
We are working to provide onward travel from Cyprus . As of this morning, we have chartered 9 flights to provide for onward travel from Cyprus and arrangements are continuing. The first flight arrived in Baltimore , MD on July 20 with 138 American Citizens.
The State Department is working with our partners in the Department of Defense, the private sector, and our friends and allies around the world to assist transporting Americans in the safest manner possible.