FCDO advises against all travel to all Iraqi provinces except the Kurdistan Region

FCDO advises against all travel to all Iraqi provinces except the Kurdistan Region

Shafaq News/ The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to all provinces of Iraq except the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and all but the essential trip to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

“Iraq remains subject to regional tensions. Militia groups opposed to western presence in Iraq continue to pose a threat to UK and other interests in Iraq – including through attacks on Global Coalition military bases, diplomatic premises, and foreign nationals.” FCDO said.

“Tensions are escalating due to protracted negotiations on government formation following elections held in October 2021. Protests have been taking place in and around the International Zone in Baghdad and the security situation is at risk of deteriorating. The situation remains uncertain and could further worsen at short notice. You should avoid any rallies, marches or processions, and follow the instructions of local authorities. Further protests are likely with potential violence. A number of areas of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq remain subject to sporadic attack by artillery, drones and rockets.”

The UK’s office warned of a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests, including against UK citizens. “You should remain vigilant, have robust security arrangements and contingency plans in place, keeping these under review, and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.”

FCDO pointed out that “terrorists are still very likely to try to carry out attacks in Iraq. You should remain vigilant and monitor media reports.”

“There’s also a high threat of kidnapping throughout the country, including from both Daesh and other terrorist and militant groups, which can be motivated by criminality or terrorism. You should review your security arrangements regularly and consider carefully any travel plans around the country.”

“Turkey conducts regular military action in the north of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and, occasionally, further south. There is particular risk in mountainous areas, especially around Qandil, Makhmur, and near the border with Turkey. Iran has claimed responsibility for several recent attacks by ballistic rockets and drones, including in Erbil, Koya and surrounding areas. Crossing points along the Iraq-Turkey border may also be affected.”

“The government of Iraq is taking measures to improve the structural integrity of the Mosul Dam as there is a risk the dam could fail. It’s currently impossible to accurately predict if or when this might occur.” It added.

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