Brits in Israel urged to ‘remain vigilant’ after Soleimani killing

Brits in Israel urged to ‘remain vigilant’ after Soleimani killing

Foreign office updates advice for the Middle East with Dominic Raab saying 'The first job of any government is to keep British people safe'

Dominic Raab
Dominic Raab

The UK has updated its travel advice for Brits in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, urging them to ‘remain vigilant’ following the assassination of  top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

Tehran was vowing harsh retaliation after President Donald Trump authorised the killing of top general Qassem Soleimani, and the US dispatched 3,000 extra troops to Kuwait.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The first job of any government is to keep British people safe”, as the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) strengthened its advice for countries across the Middle East.”

The FCO said about travel to Israel and the Palestinian Territories: “Following the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US strike in Baghdad on 3 January, British nationals in the region should remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.

Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, he however appeared to defend Donald Trump’s decision, accusing hardliners in Tehran of “nefarious behaviour”, as he described General Qassem Soleimani as a “regional menace”.

Calling for Iran to resolve the crisis through diplomatic means, he said: “The US will take their own operational judgment call but they’ve got the right of self defence”.

“So we understand the position the US were in and I don’t think we should be naive about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard or indeed General Soleimani.”

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace claimed Soleimani had been involved in efforts to undermine neighbouring nations in the Middle East and said the US was “entitled to defend itself” against any threats to its citizens.

He said: “General Soleimani has been at the heart of the use of proxies to undermine neighbouring sovereign nations and target Iran’s enemies. Under international law the United States is entitled to defend itself against those posing an imminent threat to their citizens.”

President Trump said the US has a list of “52 Iranian targets” that would be “hit very fast and very hard” should Iran strike any Americans or US assets in retribution for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani.

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