From c 1955, tension had been rising in the eastern Mediterranean, with the formation of opposing Arab blocs (UAR
, with Egypt/Syria and the Arab Union
with Jordan/Iraq). After rioting broke out in Lebanon, and Syrian forces intervened in support of the unrest, the Lebanese President appealed to the US for assistance on 14 Jul 1958.
On 15 Jul, the US mobilised and ordered the 6th Fleet off Beirut, a USMC deployment from a beach landing at Beirut and securing Beirut International Airport by paratroopers re-deployed from Germany. The situation eased, the carriers withdrew on 23 Aug, leaving the USAF to provide air support from bases in Turkey. After a new Presidential election at the end of July, US forces withdrew and the last troops left on 25 Oct.
In parallel with Blue Bat
, US forces were also assisting the British with Operation Fortitude
, in nearby Jordan.