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 supersedes the Travel Warning dated September 5, 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.
These and other attacks frequently occur in public gathering places, such as cafes, markets and other public venues. Numerous insurgent groups, including al-Qaida in Iraq, also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, remain active and terrorist activity and violence persist in many areas of the country at levels unseen since 2007. Iraqi forces are conducting military operations in Anbar Province and elsewhere against insurgent and terrorist organizations.
Baghdad International Airport has been struck by mortar rounds and rockets. Due to the potential of 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.