Israeli officials are preparing for an Iranian retaliation attack ahead of time. Recently, Israel issued an unusual alert to all citizens to evacuate Istanbul immediately, citing Iranian revenge plot.
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Israel has issued a sudden and uncommon caution to Israeli residents traveling or working in Turkey, advising them to leave Istanbul promptly. Officials have stated that intelligence reports imply a probable Iranian kidnapping or murder operation involving its citizens is underway.
The Times of Israel reports that “Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau has raised its alert level for Istanbul to the highest possible level, calling on any Israelis in the city to leave immediately or risk their lives.” Israelis are also being told to stay away from other sections of Turkey.
The elevated notice came only hours after Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told a conference of government ministers that Israelis in Istanbul, and Turkey in general, face a “real and immediate” threat.
“Two weeks ago a travel warning to Turkey was raised, after defense officials raised fears of Iranian attempts to harm Israeli targets around the world, especially in Turkey,” Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) stated in a written statement.
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With the most recent elevation of the alert status to a “4”, Israel has placed Turkey on level with Afghanistan, Iran, Burkina Faso, or other recognized “enemy” countries or war-torn countries in terms of “danger.”
The National Security Council announcement went on to say that “given the continued threat and Iranian intentions to hurt Israelis in Turkey, especially Istanbul, cranking up a notch” – which explains the increased alert level.
The latest warning is largely interpreted as a response to the death of Revolutionary Guard colonel Sayad Khodai last month, which Tehran has pinned on Israeli intelligence and agents operating within Iran.
According to reports, the murdered IRGC official was a commander in the elite Quds Force, the IRGC’s foreign intelligence division. As per Israeli media, he “planned attacks on Jews and Israelis worldwide.”
Israeli officials claim to have thwarted possible conspiracies by apprehending suspected “operatives”.
Two anonymous shooters approached the IRGC colonel on a motorbike in Tehran on May 22 and shot him in the head. “I have agreed for our security forces to seriously follow up on this matter and I have no doubt that revenge for the pure blood of our martyr will be taken,” stated President Ibrahim Raisi in an address the subsequent week.
Raisi had promised last month that “the thugs and terrorist groups affiliated with global oppression and Zionism will face consequences for their actions.”
With this new worrying Turkey warning, it appears that Israeli officials are preparing for an Iranian retaliation attack ahead of time.