Israel warns against travel to Turkey amid ‘real threat’ of Iranian revenge attack

Israel issued an updated travel warning for Turkey on Monday amid fears of an Iranian response to the killing of a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer last week.

Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei was shot five times in his car last week by two unidentified gunmen on motorbikes in the middle of Tehran. He was allegedly implicated in killings and kidnappings outside Iran, including attempts targeting Israelis.

“For several weeks now, and even more so since Iran blamed Israel for the death of the Revolutionary Guards officer last week, the defense establishment has grown increasingly concerned about Iranian attempts to harm Israeli targets around the world,” the National Security Council said.

National Security Council says it is ‘strengthening’ travel warning to Turkey, stressing that the country and other countries bordering Iran pose ‘a high level of risk to Israelis these days’ .

Security officials said the warnings followed “real threats against Israelis” in Turkey, which they did not elaborate.

“Israeli citizens should remain vigilant and observe necessary precautions when traveling to any of these countries,” the NSC statement said.

Mourners gather around the coffin of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Colonel Sayyad Khodaei during a funeral procession in the capital Tehran’s Imam Hussein Square on May 24, 2022. (ATTA KENARE / AFP)

Iranian authorities have yet to identify the suspects, even though the incident took place in the heart of one of Tehran’s safest areas, Mohahedin-e Eslam Street, which is home to other senior Iranian officials. IRGC and its elite Al-Quds force.

Israel, which has not officially commented on the incident, reportedly raised the security alert level at its embassies and consulates around the world, fearing a retaliatory Iranian attack.

Khodaei’s assassination was the most publicized killing in Iran since the November 2020 killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

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