The Department of State updated its Travel Advisory for Iraq on October 20, 2023, following the ordered departure of eligible family members and non-emergency U.S. government personnel from U.S. Embassy Baghdad and U.S. Consulate General Erbil due to increased security threats against U.S. personnel and interests.
The Travel Advisory for Iraq remains Level 4: Do Not Travel. This replaces the previous Travel Advisory issued on July 13, 2023.
The full text of the updated Travel Advisory is as follows:
Iraq – Level 4: Do Not Travel T U K O
Updated to reflect the ordered departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members.
Do not travel to Iraq due to terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict, civil unrest, and Mission Iraq’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens.
On October 20, 2023, the Department ordered the departure of eligible family members and non-emergency U.S. government personnel from U.S. Embassy Baghdad and U.S. Consulate General Erbil due to increased security threats against U.S. personnel and interests.
Country Summary: U.S. citizens in Iraq face high risks to their safety and security, including the potential for violence and kidnapping. Terrorist and insurgent groups regularly attack Iraqi security forces and civilians. Anti-U.S. militias threaten U.S. citizens and international companies throughout Iraq. Attacks using improvised explosive devices, indirect fire, and unmanned aerial vehicles occur in many areas of the country, including Baghdad and other major cities. In an emergency, consular services to U.S. citizens in Iraq are limited due to severe restrictions on the movements of U.S. government personnel.
Demonstrations, protests, and strikes occur frequently throughout the country. These events can develop quickly without prior notice, often interrupting traffic, transportation, and other services, and sometimes turning violent.
Do not travel near Iraq’s northern borders due to the continued threat of attacks by terrorist groups, armed conflict, aerial bombardment, and civil unrest. U.S. citizens should especially avoid areas near armed groups in northern Iraq, which have been targeted with aerial strikes by neighboring countries’ militaries.
U.S. citizens should not travel through Iraq to engage in armed conflict in Syria, where they would face extreme personal risks (kidnapping, injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, and expulsion). The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has stated that it will impose prison sentences of up to ten years on individuals who illegally cross the Iraq-Syria border. Additionally, fighting on behalf of or supporting designated terrorist organizations is a crime under U.S. law that can result in prison sentences and large fines in the United States.