Fighting continues to flare up in the Middle East as Israel's military targets Hezbollah leadership. In the midst of the fighting, thousands of Americans are trying to make it out of war-torn Southern Lebanon alive. Evacuees are so scared they'll be hit by Hezbollah and Israeli forces, they're waiving white flags as they speed out of the Lebanese war zone. Here in Colorado Springs, George Nehme is breathing a sigh of relief after 6 of his relatives escaped in just such a way, fleeing from Beirut to Jordan in a taxicab. Nehme says waiting for word of their safety was nerve-wracking.
"They (the forces) could see a vehicle driving by itself and they could think it's somebody that's escaping," said Nehme. "It's not safe-- it was a risk."
And the risks are not over. Nehme's sister and 3 other relatives remain in Lebanon, hoping to make it to Cyprus by boat in the next 2 days.
"She's in a safe area right now but you just never know what could happen because it's escalating," said Nehme.
The outcome of such an escalation is a risk one retired war general knows only too well. One-time presidential hopeful Wesley Clark told a Colorado Springs audience the US should step up more to help.
"I'd be helping the government of Lebanon publicly cope with what's happening with the Southern Zone," said Clark. "I'd also be building the backbone to force Hezbollah out of there."
In the mean time Nehme remains glued to his TV, wondering when his loved ones will be out of there.
"We keep praying hard for their safe return."