Turkey, Iran, and Kuwait issue travel warning for citizens who wish to visit Iraq

File – Iraqi flag is raised during protests in Iraq (AFP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Turkey, Iran, and Kuwait issued a travel warning for citizens wishing to visit Iraq, and urged their people to leave the country as deadly armed clashes raged on Monday.   

Iraq and Baghdad in Particular witnessed a deadly armed conflict after protests held by the supporters of powerful Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr transformed into armed clashes.

Pro-Sadr Supporters versus Iran-backed militia groups and the security forces on the other side sparked heavy combats, and the death toll raised to 23, hours after triggering the first bullets according to the medics.

Kuwait’s state news agency reported, that the Kuwaiti Embassy in Baghdad urged its citizens in Iraq to leave the country and advised them to postpone travels to the country.

While in Iran, despite closing its borders with Iraq, it urged its citizens to avoid traveling there. And Iran’s State TV said the country had halted all flights to Iraq “until further notice because of the ongoing unrest”. The decision came as millions of Iranians prepared to visit their neighbor for an annual pilgrimage to Shia sites. There was sporadic unrest in the south of the country, said the Associated Press.

“Considering that the security situation in Baghdad has started to deteriorate, our citizens are advised to avoid traveling to the aforementioned city except for compulsory situations,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a travel advisory.

Clashes and unrest began around the presidential complex in Baghdad and the Green Zone where houses of foreign embassies and governmental headquarters, after powerful cleric Sadr announced his retirement from politics. Hours later, machine-gun fire and explosions rang out, with tracer fire rising into the sky above the Green Zone.

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