On Tuesday, January 7, The US Government has issued a warning for ships traveling across waterways in the Middle East due to the risk of attack by Iran against US maritime interests. The warning is issued days after the US carried out an operation in Iraq that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.
Heightened security measures at ports and additional patrols at sea remain possible over the coming several days along the Strait of Hormus and other strategic waterways in the region.
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." Iran has since vowed to retaliate the attack, and the new Quds Force commander vowed to leave 'bodies of Americans' across the Middle East.
Maritime travelers in the region are advised to remain vigilant for the approach of suspicious ships while aboard vessels, monitor developments to the regional security environment, and report all incidents to the concerned authorities.