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Fort Meade, other military bases, increase security after killing of Iranian general

Joint forces provide base security (Air Force/Released)

Fort George G. Meade is one of several military bases around the country increasing security measures following the killing of an Iranian general in Iraq.

The Fort Meade Facebook page posted Monday that they have changed their policy for allowing guests on base. Officials would not provide details on most security changes nor would they confirm if the changes were directly related to rising tensions between Iran and the U.S.

This means all adults will need a Military ID or Fort Meade access badge to enter the base, according to the announcement. Everyone driving in and staying with an ID cardholder will need to show a valid state ID. Guests are usually able to join as trusted visitors without showing ID. If guests are not staying with the ID cardholder, they must get a pass at the Visitor’s Center.

“Remember anyone entering Fort Meade is subject to an inspection at any time,” the post read.

A spokesman for the base would not immediately comment on whether the increase was in direct response to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Jan. 2.

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Military Times reported Monday that military bases around the country are heightening security following strikes and high tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the last week.

Ed Zeigler, a spokesman for Naval District Washington, would not comment on whether Navy installations like the Naval Academy in Annapolis will also be upping security.

“We do not discuss specific force protection measures,” Zeigler said. “We take all threats seriously and are constantly vigilant and assessing conditions that relate to force protection at our installations. The safety of our military personnel and their families is our top priority.”

Iraq’s parliament voted Sunday to oust the 5,200 American troops in the country, potentially ending America’s 17-year military presence in Iraq. The vote, pending Iraqi government approval, highlights the sharp deterioration in relations between Washington and Baghdad, amid soaring tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

American forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011 but returned in 2014 at the invitation of the government to help battle the Islamic State group. The extremists had seized vast areas in the north and west of the country after Iraq’s armed forces collapsed, including the second-largest city, Mosul. A U.S.-led coalition provided crucial air support as Iraqi forces, including Iran-backed militias, regrouped and drove IS out in a costly three-year campaign.

Unlike the previous U.S. deployment, which was governed by the Status of Forces agreement that clearly spelled out the rules of termination, American troops in Iraq are now in the country based on a less formal request by the then prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

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