US Evacuates Consulate in Basra

Due to concerns about the security of U.S. government personnel, on September 28, 2018, the Department of State ordered the departure of U.S. government personnel from the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah.

In a statement, the State Department said:

“Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo [pictured] has made the determination to place Consulate Basrah on ordered departure. U.S. Embassy Baghdad will continue to provide full consular services to for those in and around Basrah. The Department’s updated Travel Advisory is available at Travel.state.gov. We remain strongly committed to supporting Iraqis in the southern provinces and throughout the country.”

Please see the Department’s updated Travel Advisory for Iraq here.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Iraq and recommends U.S. citizens currently in Iraq to depart immediately.  Because commercial options are readily available, the U.S. government does not plan to offer to transport U.S. citizens out of the country at this time.

U.S. citizens should not come to the Embassy for travel arrangements.  They should make their own transportation and lodging arrangements.  The Embassy will not accept any personal or real property for protection, including pets.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad will continue assisting U.S. citizens.  Those without valid passports or who are unable to arrange for their own travel or travel for their dependents because of insufficient funds or other reasons that prevent them from traveling by commercial means, should email this office at [email protected] or contact our office by phone at 0770-443-1286, as soon as possible.  If asked to come in for an appointment, people should bring:

  • U.S. citizens:  passport or other proof of U.S. citizenship; and
  • Non-U.S. citizen spouses, children, and dependents:  passports with valid visas and proof of relationship (birth or marriage certificates).

Embassy Baghdad will contact visa applicants to inform them if a change is made to their appointment.

We strongly recommend the following for U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Iraq:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States.
  • Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Following us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reportfor Iraq.
  • S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

NOTE:  U.S. citizens should pass the contents of this notice to other U.S. citizens and keep it handy for reference.

(Source: US State Dept)

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