Britain advises citizens against travel to Iraq

Foreign Office highlights terror risk and says country remains subject to 'regional tensions'

The UK said that a number of areas of Iraq 'remain subject to sporadic attack by artillery, drones and rockets'. Bloomberg
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Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has advised its citizens to avoid travelling to most regions in Iraq amid “regional tensions”.

The ministry put the travel warning in place for all areas of the country, except for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, where only essential travel is recommended.

The FCDO said that a number of areas of Iraq “remain subject to sporadic attack by artillery, drones and rockets”.

It said that although the security situation has improved there in recent years, terrorists are still “very likely to try to carry out attacks” and that a “threat to western interests remains, including to UK citizens”.

“You should remain vigilant, have robust security arrangements and contingency plans in place, keeping these under review, and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice,” the advice reads.

UK citizens should avoid any “rallies, marches or processions, and follow the instructions of local authorities”, it added.

The FCDO also highlighted the threat of kidnapping throughout the country, including “from both Daesh [ISIS] and other terrorist and militant groups, which can be motivated by criminality or terrorism”.

It comes after Turkish drone strikes on Wednesday night killed 10 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in two separate attacks in northern Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan's counter-terrorism service said.

Turkey has intensified its cross-border air raids against Kurdish targets in north-eastern Syria and northern Iraq in retaliation for an October 1 suicide bombing in Ankara that injured two policemen.

Updated: October 26, 2023, 5:57 PM