US issues travel warning to Israel for employees amid fears of Iran attack

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The US Embassy in Jerusalem issued a security warning to government employees and their families, imposing travel restrictions on their movements, as Israel prepares for Iran to retaliate for an attack that killed top Iranian military officers in Syria .

The alert, which does not explicitly mention Iran, was issued as Tehran’s leaders promised to respond to an Israeli demand. strike this month near the Iranian embassy in the Syrian capital, Damascus, stoking fears of an expansion of the conflict in a region on the brink.

“Out of an abundance of caution, US government employees and their family members are restricted from personal travel outside the metropolitan areas of Tel Aviv,…Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva until further notice,” the Embassy reads. from the US Security alertissued on Thursday.

Two senior members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and five other officers were killed in the attack, Iran said.

While Israel has not publicly claimed responsibility, U.S. officials told the Washington Post that Pentagon officials were frustrated that Israel did not notify the United States sooner he April 1st strike, which they evaluate increases risks to US forces in the Middle East.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel would be “punished” and “regret this crime.” With Israel’s army on high alert last week, Israel fiance counterattack Iran “if Iran attacks from its territory.”

The head of the US Central Command, General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, visited Israel on Thursday, a Pentagon spokesman said. sayingas allies coordinate preparation for The counterattack promised by Iran. president biden has repeated that the United States’ commitment to Israel against threats from Iran and its allies is “iron.”

“The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem reminds U.S. citizens of the continued need for caution and heightened awareness of personal security, as security incidents often occur without warning,” the alert said. “The security environment remains complex and can change rapidly depending on the political situation and recent developments.”

The April 1 attack near a diplomatic compound – traditionally exempt from hostilities – was seen as an escalation in Israel’s multi-front battles against Iranian-backed groups in the region, which have intensified during its war in gaza.

The United States had already issued travel warnings during the war, and a rare case “Worldwide Caution” Notice to all Americans abroad in October, citing “the potential for violence and increased tensions” globally.

Clashes in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen intensified between groups backed by Iran and Israel or the United States. Analysts have said Tehran can still hope to avoid being drawn into a costly war, while maintaining support for allies that have exchanged fire with Israeli forces or attacked Israel’s main backer, the United States, in the region, reported ThePost.

U.S. and other officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters, said earlier this month They hoped Iran might respond with attacks on Israeli targets, calculated to prevent an even larger Israeli response, The Post reported. However, they acknowledged the possibility of miscalculations in such a volatile environment.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that the Biden administration has “communicated to Iran that the United States did not participate in the attack” in Syria. She said the administration warned Tehran not to “escalate further in the region or attack US facilities or personnel.”

Kareem Fahim and Susannah George contributed to this report.

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