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03 Jan 2020 | 06:34 AM UTC

Israel: Government places military on heightened alert January 3

The Israeli government places military on heightened alert on January 3 following US airstrike in Iraq; heightened security presence expected

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Event

The Israeli government has placed its military on heightened alert on Friday, January 3, following the attack against al-Quds force commander Qasem Suleimani in Baghdad (Iraq) earlier the same day. A heightened security presence is to be expected throughout the country, including at airports and other strategic assets. Road closures and other associated transportation disruptions are also possible.

Context

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.

Advice

Individuals in Israel are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate a heightened security presence, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.