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A protest in the West Bank AFP

The U.S. State Department issued an infrequent global caution warning for its citizens abroad on Thursday, urging them to "exercise increased caution" as a result of "increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions" against people or interests.

The advise comes as the Israel-Hamas war catalyzed numerous events of that nature across the world, mainly in the Middle East. Different U.S. diplomatic and military compounds were targeted in countries such as Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon.

"It's not necessarily any one thing but everything that we're watching around the world," he said at a press briefing State Department spokesperson Matt Miller.

An additional step was taken in Lebanon, as all non-emergency U.S. government personnel and family members were authorized to leave the country. CNN reported that the State Department will also be looking at whether to restrict the movement of diplomats within the countries they're based in.

Last time an alert of this nature had been issued was in August last year, after the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Back then, the U.S. government warned that supporters of the terrorist group or its affiliated organizations "may seek to attack U.S. facilities, personnel, or citizens."

Actions have also targeted U.S. military assets: a warship operating near Yemen and two military bases were attacked by drones this week, the Wall Street Journal reported. The USS Carney intercepted multiple projectiles near the coast of Yemen and a base near the Syria-Jordan border and another one in Iraq were attacked.

U.S. president Joe Biden has not signaled any intention to reduce American support for Israel as a result of the protests. He's expected to give a primetime address on Thursday to ask Congress for a massive $100 billion joint package that includes funding for Israel and for Ukraine's battle against Russia's invasion.

Joe Biden
The U.S. President will deliver an address AFP

But his speech is expected to be less about money and more about painting a broader picture to voters, in which the expensive business of defending allies an ocean away is vital for the United States itself.

The gravity of the situation is underlined by the fact that it will only be Biden's second speech from behind the historic Resolute Desk, which presidents have reserved for moments of key national significance.

"You'll hear tonight the president describe this perilous moment that we are in globally, when it comes to our national security and when it comes to international stability," US Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer told MSNBC.

"This will also very much be a message to the American people, how those conflicts connect to our lives back here, how support from the American people and the Congress is frankly essential."

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