Iraq Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Mar 24, 2004
This Travel Warning provides updated information on the dangerous security situation in Iraq and advises Americans of continuing attacks on civilians, including American citizens, reduced staffing by international organizations in Iraq as a result of attacks and bombings, and of a threat to civil aviation. The security threat to all American citizens in Iraq remains extremely high. This replaces the Travel Warning of October 31, 2003.
The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens strongly against travel to Iraq. Remnants of the former Baath regime, transnational terrorists, and criminal elements remain active. Attacks against civilian targets throughout Iraq continue at a high rate, including at hotels, the UN headquarters, the International Committee of the Red Cross, police stations, checkpoints entering Coalition Provisional Authority areas, and several foreign missions. 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 Faluja, and travel between al-Hillah and Baghdad, 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 who 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 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 officer 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.