Russia Evacuates Citizens From Syria as U.S. Readies Strike

Assad's ally warns that an attack on Syria will further destabilize the region.

Russia has evacuated dozens of its citizens from Syria as the country's foreign minister warns that a U.S.-led military intervention would destabilize the region.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry says it evacuated 89 people, 75 of them Russians, from Syria on Tuesday, with more expected Wednesday.

In a telephone call on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi that armed intervention considered by the U.S. and its allies "will lead only to the further destabilisation of the situation in [Syria] and the region," a ministry statement said.

News agency ITAR-TASS reported that the Russian Embassy in Syria insisted that there was no plan to evacuate diplomats.

Tens of thousands of Russian citizens live in Syria, the legacy of years of cooperation and exchange between the two countries.