Iranian terror squads are likely to be operating in Turkey and preparing to target Israeli nationals there, former National Security Council head Maj. Gen. (ret.) Giora Eiland said on Tuesday, according to a report by Ynet.

Eiland spoke a day after the National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau took the unusual step of warning of a “tangible threat” to the safety of Israelis in Turkey, urging travelers to be extra vigilant and reiterating a travel advisory saying non-essential travel to the country be avoided.

The warning comes just a week after the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei on May 22 in Tehran by unknown assailants on a motorcycle.

Speaking to Ynet news, Eiland said: “The immediacy of the warning and its tone shows that it is based on concrete information regarding not only an intent but the ability to carry out an attack. In other words, Israeli intelligence either knows or estimates that an Iranian squad is already in Turkey to launch an attack against Israelis.”

He said that based on his experience, the decision to issue such a significant travel advisory also has economic and international diplomatic consequences.

In November, an Israeli couple, Mordy and Natalie Oknin, was detained for a week in Turkey on suspicion of espionage.

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