U.S. Warns of 'Security Risks, Rocket Fire' at Israel After Soleimani Assassination

Embassy says 'heightened tension' in the region may 'result in risks to U.S. citizens abroad,' as Iran vows 'crushing revenge' for top general's killing

Iranians set American and Israeli flags on fire during a funeral procession for Qassem Soleimani, Tehran. January 6, 2020.
Atta Kenare/AFP

The United States Embassy in Israel released a statement Monday alerting U.S. citizens of "heightened tension" in the region, which may "result in security risks to U.S. citizens abroad."

Though the statement makes no specific mention of the reason for this "tension," it comes only days after the U.S. carried out a strike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on Friday. Tehran has vowed "crushing revenge" for the killing, saying that the assassination will double motivation to retaliate against the U.S. and Israel.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning," read the statement.

The U.S. Embassy then goes on to explain in detail steps to take in case of rocket alerts, and reassures its citizens that they "will continue to review the security situation and will provide additional information as needed."

The embassy encouraged its citizens to "avoid all demonstrations, monitor local media, and follow the instructions of local authorities" among other measures for safety.

Following the attack, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad urged all citizens to depart Iraq immediately. And U.S. citizens working for foreign oil companies in the southern Iraqi oil city of Basra were leaving the country on Friday, the Oil Ministry said.

A series of rockets were launched and fell inside or near Baghdad's Green Zone, which houses government offices and foreign embassies, including the U.S. Embassy on Saturday. Another security official said three rockets fell outside an air base north of Baghdad were American contractors are normally present, as the region braced for Iran to fulfill its vows of revenge.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.