United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
July 20, 2004
This Travel Warning updates information on the continuing dangerous security situation in Iraq following the transfer of governing authority to the Interim Iraqi Government on June 28, 2004. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was established on the same day. The security threat to all American citizens in Iraq remains extremely high, with a high risk of attacks on civilians. International organizations have reduced their staff in Iraq as a result of attacks, bombings and threats to civil aviation. This supersedes the Travel Warning of June 25, 2004.
The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq, which remains very dangerous. Remnants of the former Baath regime, transnational terrorists, and criminal elements remain active. Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue. Targets include hotels, restaurants, police stations, checkpoints, foreign diplomatic missions, and international organizations and other locations with expatriate personnel. 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 addition, there have been planned and random killings, as well as extortions and kidnappings. Military operations continue. There are daily attacks against Multinational Forces - Iraq (MNF-I) throughout the country.
All vehicular travel in Iraq is extremely dangerous. There have been numerous attacks on civilian vehicles, as well as military convoys. Attacks occur throughout the day, but travel at night is exceptionally dangerous. Travel in or through Ramadi and Fallujah, travel between al-Hillah and Baghdad, and travel between the International Zone and Baghdad International Airport is particularly dangerous. Occasionally, U.S. Government personnel are prohibited from traveling to select areas depending on prevailing security conditions. There continues to be heavy 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. Travel should be undertaken only when absolutely necessary and with the appropriate security.
The U.S. Embassy is located in the International Zone. The Embassy can provide only limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq. At present travel to and from the International Zone is extremely limited. The U.S. Embassy does not provide visa services. American citizens who choose to visit or reside in Iraq despite this Travel Warning are urged to pay close attention to their personal security, avoid crowds, especially rallies or demonstrations and to inform the U.S. Embassy of their presence in Iraq.
American citizens may obtain the latest security information or other information about Iraq by calling the U.S. Embassy, located in the International Zone, at: 1-240-553-0584, or by e-mail: email@example.com or via the U.S. Embassy's website: http//iraq.usembassy.gov. Their after hours number is 1-914-822-5473.