Iraq Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Jun 28, 2004
This Travel Warning provides updated information on the dangerous security situation in Iraq and informs Americans that the period surrounding the transfer of authority from the Coalition Provisional Authority to the Government of Iraq poses an increased risk of attacks on civilians, including American citizens. International organizations have reduced their staffing in Iraq as a result of attacks, bombings, and a threat to civil aviation. The security threat to all American citizens in Iraq remains extremely high. This supersedes the Travel Warning of March 23, 2004.
The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq. Remnants of the former Baath regime, transnational terrorists, and criminal elements remain active. There may be a period of increased danger leading up to and following the transfer of authority on June 30 from the Coalition Provisional Authority to the new Government of Iraq. Attacks against civilian targets throughout Iraq continue at a high rate, including at hotels, police stations, checkpoints entering Coalition Provisional Authority areas, foreign diplomatic missions, and against international organizations and personnel. These attacks have resulted in deaths and injuries of American citizens, including those doing humanitarian work. There is credible information that terrorists have targeted civil aviation in Iraq. In addition, there have been planned and random killings, as well as extortions and kidnappings. Coalition-led military operations continue, and there are daily attacks against Coalition forces throughout the country. Attacks against coalition forces as well as civilian targets occur throughout the day, but travel at night is exceptionally dangerous. Hotels, restaurants and locations with expatriate staff continue to be attacked. The security environment in all of Iraq is dangerous, volatile and unpredictable. Although restrictions on the use of U.S. passports for travel to, in or through Iraq have been lifted, travel to Iraq remains very dangerous.
All vehicular travel in Iraq is extremely dangerous, and there have been numerous attacks on civilian vehicles, as well as military convoys. Travel in or through Ramadi and Fallujah, travel between al-Hillah and Baghdad, and travel between the Green Zone and Baghdad International Airport is particularly dangerous. There has been an increase in the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and/or mines on roads, particularly in plastic bags, soda cans, and dead animals. Grenades and explosives have been thrown into vehicles from overpasses, particularly in crowded areas. Travel should be continuously reviewed for necessity and adequate security and only undertaken when absolutely necessary and with the appropriate security resources.
There are U.S. consular officers located at the Iraq Forum (Convention Center) across from the al-Rashid Hotel who can provide limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq. During the week surrounding the transition period, travel to and from the Green Zone will be extremely limited. In cases of emergency, Americans needing access to or assistance from the U.S. consular office in Baghdad will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The consular office in Baghdad cannot provide visa services. American citizens who choose to visit or remain in Iraq despite this Warning are urged to pay close attention to their personal security, should avoid crowded areas, rallies and demonstrations, and should inform the U.S. consular office of their presence in Iraq.
American citizens may obtain the latest security information or other information about Iraq by phone: 1-703-270-0210, or by e-mail: [email protected] Detailed security information is also available at http://www.centcom.mil and [email protected]
Updated information on travel and security in Iraq may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or, from overseas, 1-317-472-2328. For further information, please consult the Consular Information Sheet for Iraq, the current Worldwide Caution and the Middle East and North Africa Public Announcement, all of which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.