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




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

Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei was shot five times in his car last week by two unidentified gunmen on motorbikes in the middle of Tehran. He reportedly was involved in killings and abductions outside of Iran, including attempts to target Israelis.

“For several weeks now, and even more so since Iran blamed Israel for the death of the Revolutionary Guards officer last week, there has been growing concern in the defense establishment about Iranian attempts to harm Israeli targets around the world,” a statement from the National Security Council said.

The National Security Council said it was “sharpening” the travel warning to Turkey, stressing that the country and other nations bordering Iran pose “a high level of risk to Israelis these days.”

Security officials said the warnings follow “real threats to Israelis” in Turkey, which they did not specify.

“Israeli citizens must remain vigilant and adhere to the necessary precautions when traveling to one of these countries,” the NSC statement said.

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

Iranian authorities have yet to pin down the suspects, even though the incident took place in the heart of one of the most secure areas in Tehran — Mohahedin-e Eslam Street, home to other senior officials in the IRGC and its elite 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 high-profile killing inside Iran since the November 2020 killing of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.


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