The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Iraq. Travel within Iraq remains dangerous given the security situation. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated February 25, 2013, to update information on security incidents and to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence. The ability of the Embassy to respond to situations in which U.S. citizens face difficulty, including arrests, is extremely limited.
U.S. citizens in Iraq remain at high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence. Methods of attack have included:
- roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including explosively formed penetrators (EFPs);
- magnetic IEDs placed on vehicles;
- human and vehicle-borne IEDs;
- mines placed on or concealed near roads;
- mortars and rockets; and
- shootings using various direct fire weapons.
Numerous insurgent groups, including al-Qaida in Iraq, remain active and terrorist activity and sectarian violence persist in many areas of the country at levels unseen since 2008. Due to the potential for political protests and demonstrations to become violent, U.S. citizens in Iraq are strongly urged to avoid protests and large gatherings.
The U.S. government considers the potential threat to U.S. government personnel in Iraq to be serious enough to require them to live and work under strict security guidelines. All U.S. government employees under the authority of the U.S. Chief of Mission must follow strict safety and security procedures when traveling outside the Embassy. State Department guidance to U.S. businesses in Iraq advises the use of protective security details. Detailed security information is available at the U.S. Embassy website.