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Security reviewed as UK launches Syria airstrikes

A Hercules KC-130 transport plane operated by the US Marine Corp is pictured above landing in Gibraltar yesterday. The presence of US military planes in Gibraltar is unusual, but the Ministry of Defence said this was a training flight. In the foreground, an officer from the Gibraltar Defence Police talks to a colleague from the Royal Gibraltar Police during a break in the Gibex 2015 exercise, which this week tested the emergency services under a range of scenarios.

The Gibraltar Security Council met yesterday as Britain carried out its first airstrikes in Syria after MPs approved action against Islamic State targets, with the threat level in Gibraltar to remain at substantial.

The Council - comprising Governor Alison MacMillan, Acting Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, Commissioner of Police Eddie Yome and Commander British Forces Commodore Ian McGhie - met in the morning following the vote on Syria in the House of Commons on Wednesday night.

“The Gibraltar Security Council reviewed the threat level to Gibraltar immediately following the tragic attacks in Paris on November 13, and have again discussed the threat level this morning following Wednesday’s vote in the House of Commons to authorise air strikes against ISIL targets inside Syria,” a Convent spokesman said.

“The GSC confirmed that while there is no intelligence to suggest any specific threat to Gibraltar the threat level remains at ‘Substantial’.”

“Current security measures are appropriate to this threat level but members of the public are encouraged to remain vigilant.”

The threat level on the Rock was last increased after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January and has remained at ‘substantial’ since then.

A ‘substantial’ threat level is the third-highest grading in a five-step list that ranges from ‘low’ to ‘critical’.

It means ‘an attack is a strong possibility’, although officials are careful to stress that there is no specific threat relating to Gibraltar.