The US Embassy in Islamabad issued a security alert on Friday, January 3, warning US citizens in Pakistan to exercise increased caution and be aware of possible demonstrations in response to a US airstrike earlier on Friday in Baghdad (Iraq), which killed Iranian Al-Quds force commander Qasem Soleimani. The embassy has restricted travel by US government employees in Pakistan, requiring them to postpone non-essential official movement. A heightened security risk is possible for American assets, strategic interests, and individuals within the country.
A heightened security presence is possible across Islamabad and in other urban centers throughout Pakistan over the coming days.
The US Department of Defense released a statement on January 3, claiming responsibility for an airstrike targeting Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iran's Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport (BGW). According to the statement, Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), was also killed in the strike along with six other individuals.
Individuals in Pakistan, particularly US citizens, American businesses, and other American interests should remain on high alert over the coming several days due to increased tensions throughout the region. Individuals are advised to adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.