Britons abroad should be 'vigilant' to terrorist threat, warns Government

Global travel advice is updated in light of UK military action in Syria and Iraq

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The Independent Online

Britons should be vigilant when travelling abroad as military action against terrorists in Syria and Iraq could see them targeted in retaliation, the Government has advised.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice to British nationals on Friday following Coalition action in the region and the ensuing “threat to countries involved”.

It comes a month after Parliament gave its backing to RAF air strikes against Islamic State (IS) terrorists. The government is also supplying arms to the Kurdish peshmerga militias fighting the extremists on the ground.

In a statement on its website, the FCO said the updated advice applied globally, to anyone overseas, and had been made “in response to the generalised threat”.

It said: “There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.”

In August Home Secretary Theresa May announced that the UK national terror threat level had been raised from “substantial” to “severe”, meaning an attack is considered “highly likely”.

Britons David Haines and Alan Henning were executed by IS militants in videos released to the public in recent months.

Currently the FCO advises against all travel to Syria and has said British nationals should leave the country immediately.

Travel to Iraq’s Anbar, Ninewah, Salah-ah din, Diyala and Tam’mim provinces is advised against and Britons still in the area "should leave now" according to the government.

All but essential travel to the rest of Iraq, including Kurdistan, is recommended against.

Additional reporting by PA.