The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem issued a security alert for all U.S. citizens in the region on Monday amid “Heightened Middle East Tensions,” according to a press release.
The statement was issued after the U.S.’s targeted air strike that killed the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, last week in Baghdad, Iraq.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning,” the statement said.
The warning identifies “mortar and rocket fire” as growing threats and asks U.S. citizens to heed siren alerts by seeking ‘immediate’ shelter.
“In the event of mortar or rocket fire, a red alert siren may be activated. Treat all such alerts as real; follow the instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately.
The statement warns U.S. citizens to “Know the location of your closest shelter or protected space. U.S. government personnel and their family members may be restricted from traveling to areas affected by rocket activity, sirens, or the opening of bomb shelters.”
The Jerusalem Post reported Monday that senior security and intelligence officials told the security cabinet on Monday that an Iranian attack against Israel is “unlikely” and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the targeted killing an “American matter.”
#MiddleEast: Updated security advice for multiple destinations in the region due to an increased threat of attacks. The security situation could worsen with little warning. Exercise caution. https://t.co/aeNzzcrEJr
— Travel.gc.ca (@TravelGoC) January 4, 2020
In addition to the U.S. Embassy, the Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv issued a similar security warning on Saturday “due to an increased threat of attacks.”