The US government is warning Americans in Morocco to be vigilant.
Rabat – Amid heightened tensions in Iraq, Iran, and the wider MENA region, the US Embassy in Rabat and the US Consulate General in Casablanca sent out a security alert on Friday, January 3, to Americans residing in Morocco.
The alert encourages “US citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness” in Morocco.
The alert adds, however, that there are no specific, credible threats to US citizens in Morocco at the time.
Tensions between the US, Iran, and Iraq are rising after a US airstrike in Baghdad killed Iranian army general Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on Friday, January 3.
Soleimani was a major general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and commander of the Quds Force since 1988.
According to the White House, President Donald Trump ordered the strike after US operatives received intelligence that Soleimani was preparing attacks against American military personnel and diplomats in the region.
“Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” according to a Pentagon statement.
President Trump did not notify US legislators or seek approval for the attack.
Iran, meanwhile, has promised a “harsh” retaliation.
In response, US officials announced that 3,000 additional troops will be deployed to the Middle East as a security measure against possible Iranian retaliation.
Travel advisory to Morocco
The US state department increased Morocco’s travel advisory listing to “Level 2” in April 2019, warning Americans to exercise increased caution while in the country due to terrorism.
“Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Morocco,” the state department said at the time of the travel advisory. “Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.”
The state department advises US citizens in Morocco to stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners and avoid demonstrations and crowds.