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VOLATILE: Travellers Warned Of Rising Tensions In The Middle East

Smartraveller is warning Australian travellers of a “volatile” security situation in the Middle East after a US airstrike near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3 killed an Iranian senior commander and Iraqi paramilitary leaders.

Smartraveller is warning Australian travellers of a “volatile” security situation in the Middle East after a US airstrike near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3 killed an Iranian senior commander and Iraqi paramilitary leaders.

Australians who still choose to travel in the affected regions are being asked to “remain vigilant and monitor developments via the media and Smartraveller website”.

The level of advice for Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen remains at Do Not Travel while Australians are being asked to Reconsider The Need to Travel to Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iran declared a three-day period of public mourning from 3-6 January following the death of the Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani.

“Australians who travel to Iran despite this advice should avoid rallies and marches taking place across Iran, which could turn violent, and closely monitor developments in the region,” Smartraveller said.

Senior Product Manager at Intrepid Travel Jenny Gray said Intrepid does not have any trips underway in Iran right now but they are monitoring the situation closely with their local team on the ground.

“The safety of our customers is our highest priority,” she said.

Intrepid currently has a “Women’s Expedition” planned to Iran on February 15 2020.

“DFAT advice remains the same for Australian citizens, so at this stage, future departures will go ahead as planned.”

Jenny Gray, Senior Product Manager at Intrepid Travel

Bahrain, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait remain at Exercise A High Degree of Caution while Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates still remain at the normal safety precaution level.