Ministry issues lengthy statement

German embassy warns its citizens from traveling to Iraq

ERBIL, October 25 — In a lengthy and detailed statement, the German Foreign Ministry has issued a warning to its citizens against traveling to Iraq. The ministry cited concerns related to the country’s domestic political situation and acts of violence carried out by armed groups.

The statement advised, “If there is a necessity to travel to Iraq, you may consider visiting the Kurdistan Region, but exercise caution.” The ministry specified six hazardous provinces and recommended staying away from military bases housing U.S. forces in the country.

Key points from their statement include:

  • Terrorism in Iraq: While ISIS lost control of Iraq in 2017, there are still militant groups in the country that pose a threat. Violent attacks and clashes between terrorist groups and security forces are expected nationwide, with particularly high attack rates in central and northern Iraq.
  • Dangerous Areas: The following governorates and areas are especially dangerous: Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Nineveh (especially Sinjar and Mosul), Salah Al-Din, northern Babylon, and the northern border of the Kurdistan Region with Syria and Turkey.
  • Security Precautions: Travelers to risky areas should take professional security measures, including using protected vehicles, deploying an appropriate number of professional security personnel, and establishing a specific travel route. Travelers should also monitor local and social media, avoid U.S. facilities, and stay away from demonstrations.
  • Baghdad: Despite improved security, there is still a risk of serious attacks in the capital, Baghdad, especially against security institutions, ministries, hotels, public places, and religious institutions. Kidnapping risks are also high.
  • Kurdistan Region: The security situation in the Kurdistan Region remains volatile, with an increased risk of terrorist attacks. Essential travel to this region requires careful consideration of local security conditions and appropriate safety measures.
  • Internal Political Situation: Protests, sometimes violent, regularly occur in Baghdad, southern governorates, and occasionally in the Kurdistan Region. Clashes can take place between demonstrators, security forces, and armed groups.
  • Crime: Iraq has a high level of criminal violence, with a risk of kidnapping, especially for foreigners. Robberies and vehicle theft are common, especially at night.
  • Travelers should take precautions, avoid demonstrations and border areas, and follow the guidance of security personnel. Staying vigilant and safeguarding valuables is crucial.
  • Please note that the German diplomatic missions abroad may have limited capacity to provide assistance, and travelers are advised to exercise caution.