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Iraq Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Nov 01, 2003

This Travel Warning provides updated information on the security situation in Iraq and advises Americans of the reduced staffing by international organizations in Baghdad as a result of increased attacks and bombings, and of a threat to civil aviation. The security threat to all American citizens in Iraq remains high. This replaces the Travel Warning of October 2, 2003.

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 have been increased attacks in Baghdad, including at hotels, the UN headquarters, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and several foreign missions. These attacks have resulted in deaths and injuries of American citizens. 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 extremely dangerous. Hotels, restaurants and locations with expatriate staff are being targeted. The security environment in all of Iraq remains volatile and unpredictable. Although the restrictions on the use of U.S. passport travel to, in or through Iraq has been lifted, travel to Iraq remains extremely dangerous

All vehicular travel in Iraq is extremely dangerous, and there have been attacks on civilian as well as military convoys. Travel in or through Ramadi and Faluja 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.

There is a U.S. consular officer in Baghdad who can provide limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq and is located at the Iraq Forum (Convention Center) across from the al-Rashid Hotel. The consular officer cannot provide visa services. American citizens who choose to visit or remain in Iraq despite the warning contained herein are urged to pay close attention to their personal security, should avoid rallies and demonstrations, and should inform the U.S. consular officer of their presence in Iraq.

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