We advise against all but essential travel to the whole of Iraq, except the Kurdistan region.
If you intend to travel to those parts of Iraq to which the we advise against all but essential travel, you should employ a professional security company and take all necessary security precautions.
You should avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings of people. If you become aware of any nearby violence, leave the area immediately.
Ashura is an important religious festival celebrated by many across Iraq. As part of this festival, religious observations, processions and events will take place throughout Iraq between 14 November and 4 December. Religious gatherings have previously been targeted by terrorists. You should maintain the same level of vigilance.
There is a high threat of terrorism including kidnapping. There has been a marked increase in the number of terrorist attacks across Iraq in 2013. While terrorist incidents are less frequent in the Kurdistan region, there was an attack in Erbil in September 2013.
Foreign journalists have been banned from entering al Anbar province unless they have specific approval from the relevant authorities (including the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and the Anbar Operations Command Centre). International and local journalists have previously been detained in Iraq due to allegations of inadequate paperwork. Journalists should exercise extreme caution and take adequate security measures.
Seek local advice before travelling to the remote areas bordering Turkey, where there have been incidents of shelling, unexploded ordnance and mines.
Armed groups operate along the border between Iraq and Syria, which has led to violent incidents at some border crossings.