U.S. tells citizens ‘do not travel to Iraq due to terrorism, civil unrest’  

A U.S. flag hangs from blast barriers guarding the entrance to the dining facility inside the compound of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad December 14, 2011. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The United States on Monday warned its citizens to avoid travelling to Iraq because of terrorism, civil unrest and coronavirus outbreak.

The U.S. Department of State updated its travel advisory for Iraq to level 4 on Monday, saying American citizens are at “high risk” for violence and kidnapping.

“Do not trave to Iraq due to terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict, civil unrest, COVID-19, and Mission Iraq’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens,” it said in the travel advisory.

The U.S. state department said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued a “level 4 travel health notice for Iraq” due to a surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

It also warned that “terrorist and insurgent groups” regularly attack the Iraqi forces and civilians and that anti-U.S. sectarian militias threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies throughout the country.

Regarding protests, the state department said demonstrations and strikes occur frequently in Iraq.

“These events can develop quickly without prior notification, often interrupting traffic, transportation, and other services; such events have the potential to turn violent,” it stated.

The travel warning came a few days after an Iraqi militia group threatened to attack the United States personnel in Iraq if Washington failed to withdraw troops by the end of this year.

The militia groups in Iraq were also accused of an attempt to kill Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi by armed men on November 7.

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