Iraq travel advice

There is a high threat from terrorism, in Iraq. Extremist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are responsible for the majority of attacks. There has been a significant increase in levels of terrorist violence since April 2013, including a major offensive by ISIL and other armed groups which began in June 2014. The UN has reported that at least 8,868 Iraqis were killed by terrorism and violence during 2013. This trend has continued in 2014.

Targets for terrorist attacks have included: residential compounds, military establishments, oil facilities, public transport, commercial venues, including markets and stores, maritime facilities, land border crossings, government buildings, hotels, restaurants, large crowds, police stations, party political offices/events, sports venues/stadiums and religious sites/ceremonies. Attacks are most frequent in the western and northern provinces of Anbar, Baghdad, Ninewa, Salah Ad Din, Tam’mim (also known as Kirkuk) and Diyala but could occur anywhere.

Methods of attack have included shootings, large-scale co-ordinated bombings designed to cause mass casualties, suicide bombs, vehicle bombs, rockets and mortars. In the early months of 2014 there have been several reports of indirect fire on the International Zone in Baghdad and Baghdad International Airport.

Foreign nationals, including those of non-western appearance, are high value targets for terrorists, insurgents and criminals. Indiscriminate attacks against public places and Iraqi civilians also occur.