Following the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, Iraq’s parliament have voted to expel all foreign military presence.
US forces were initially deployed to Iraq over four years ago to assist in the fight against the terrorist organisation ISIS, however, Iraq is now pushing to end the agreement made with the US. There are currently around 5,200 US troops in the country but the pull out could severely diminish resources – making the revival of ISIS more likely.
Iran has also revealed that they will be suspending the training of Iraqi forces, which is part of an operation to support the fight against ISIS, and is now focusing on protecting its troops.
In addition, Iran has sworn vengeance against the US promising retribution for the death of well-respected commander Soleimani and is threatening to target landmarks in the US.
US President, Donald Trump has responded to the threats by taking to social media platform, Twitter:
‘Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!’
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice for Iraq and now advises against ‘all but essential travel to the country.’
Is it safe to travel to America?
Understandably, holidaymakers already in the US or due to travel there in the near future will be concerned for their safety following the threats. So far, the FCO has not updated their travel advice for the USA but do state that ‘terrorists are very likely to carry out attacks in the USA’. Travellers are advised to ‘monitor media reports and be vigilant at all times.
If a terror attack was to occur in the USA, those affected would be covered by their travel insurance for any emergency medical treatment. They would not, however, be covered to cut their trip short or cancel their holiday if they are yet to travel.
Cover for terrorism is generally excluded from most travel insurance policies, with the exception of those that will cover cancellation for any cause and do not state that wars, terrorism or civil unrest is excluded. Read more on terrorism cover.