The shadow war between Iran and Israel that has been going on for several years now may be heading toward escalation after the killing of Quds Force Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodayar and the mysterious death of Colonel Ali Esmailzadeh, also of the IRGC, which was only reported on Friday.
In the first case the killing took place in downtown Tehran by mysterious assassins whom the Iranians link to the Mossad. In the second case it would apparently be an accident. Colonel Esmailzadeh would in fact have fallen from the roof of his house although some Israeli intelligence officials say he may have been killed by the Iranian Quds Force itself since he would have been the spy who enabled the killing of Colonel Khodayar.
Regardless of how things really are, the Iranians blame the Mossad for both deaths and swear tremendous revenge that as always is directed toward Israeli civilians who for various reasons (work, vacation, etc. etc.) travel the world.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has issued a travel warning for Israeli citizens traveling to Turkey and Iran’s neighboring countries.
As early as Monday, Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying that the Israeli security establishment has information about a “tangible threat to Israelis in Turkey. There is also a higher level of threat in other countries bordering Iran.”
Israelis are urged not to frequent crowded places and, above all, not to show either their affiliation with Israel or their Jewishness. In fact, non-Israeli Jews are also at risk.
Usually Iranian threats all end in a bubble. After the death of Qassem Soleimani they seemed to want to attack the world, but then nothing happened. In any case, it is good to follow the Ministry’s alerts and follow the advice carefully for one’s own safety.
The northern front and the Gaza Strip
Although experts tend to rule it out, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which depends for money and weapons directly on Tehran, is coming to a boil and could get out of Hamas’ control by firing missiles at southern Israel.
This could trigger the harsh reaction of the Jewish state thus initiating an escalation on the Gaza Strip front.
The danger seems less on the northern front, however, where Hezbollah has more than 100,000 missiles aimed at Israel. Lebanese terrorists also depend for arms and money on Tehran but seem less bent on suicide than their Palestinian partners. However, we do not know what might happen in the event of an escalation in Gaza.
In any case for the moment the most imminent danger to Israeli citizens seems to be from travel to Turkey where there are many Israeli businessmen who travel there very often. The Ministry’s recommendations should be taken literally and it is good to always notify the relevant consulate of the area visited of our presence.