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In Middle East UK and US expats now in danger

JANUARY, 2020/ INTERNATIONAL

Expats and tourists in Egypt are being warned they’re now soft targets for terrorists demonstrating their loyalty to Iran.

Although it stopped short of placing a travel warning for 14 states in the Gulf region, the British Foreign Office is telling it like it is as regards the risks to both expats and visitors. Dubai and Turkey are also included in the warnings, and Iraq is now considered a no-go area for Westerners, especially American and British citizens. Embassies and Foreign Offices are now reminding expatriates and tourists of the 2015 downing of a Russian passenger jet which killed 224 people, as well as the 1997 massacre of 62 tourists in Luxor.

As regards Egypt, it’s now also considered a soft target for its several resorts popular with British and American holidaymakers as well as for its British expat community. In South Sinai, the popular resort of Sharm and its international airport may be at risk, and other Middle Eastern states including Qatar, Oman and Bahrain are now carrying official warnings. Even although the UK military wasn’t involved in the assassination of Soleimani, Iran sees Britain as a USA ally and therefore a legitimate target.

According to one academic, Iran and its sponsored terror groups’ trend towards targeting holidaymakers and Western expats is well established and has been seen in southern Europe, Latin America and in various African countries. As regards risks to UK citizens, military bases in the Middle East and Cyprus as well as holiday resorts favoured by British expat residents and tourists are all potential targets. Experts are now warning over the re-emergence of ISIS, already known as having been responsible for attacks on visitors in Egypt and Tunisia.

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