Canada issues travel guidelines for citizens amid US-Iran conflict

Amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, the Canadian government has issued travel advisories for its citizens travelling to the Middle East. The threat of attacks from both the nations has increased after the U.S. forces attacked the Iranian convoy in Iraq, killing Iranian General Qasem Soleimani on January 3.

Canada’s official travel advisory service tweeted that the government has rolled out security advice for a number of Middle Eastern countries, citing the risk of attacks or chaos. The announcement read: “The security situation could worsen with little warning. Exercise caution.”

Considering security concerns, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan announced temporary suspension of a NATO training operation to be held in Iraq. “We are taking all needful precautions for the safety and security of our citizens and military personnel,” Sajjan said.

Without reacting to the assassination General Qasem Soleimani, Sajjan further said that Canada “continues to supervise and evaluate the situation” and is closely coordinating with international partners.

The government has warned all its citizens to cancel their travel to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan till situation gets stable.

As per the government guidelines, the travellers will risk their personal safety in these countries, and Canadian nationals already in the region must consider leaving to ensure their safety.

A list of countries was also mentioned where visitors are recommended to “exercise a high degree of precaution,” includes the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Kuwait.

The government of Canada also stated, “Identifiable safety and security concerns or the safety and security situation could change with little notice,” along with advising people to regularly refer local media and follow the guidelines issued by local authorities.

A similar warning has been issued with specific regional guidelines to avoid all travel-related activities in some parts of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

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