Ongoing insurgent and military activity throughout northwest Iraq and in Syria have destabilised the region, meaning that safety is a major concern for expats relocating to Iraq. Most countries advise their nationals not to travel to Iraq due to high risks.
Within Iraq, employers invest huge amounts to ensure work premises and expat housing compounds are secure. Despite this, expats should carefully consider the ongoing situation and weigh up the risks and benefits.
Terrorism and insurgency in Iraq
There is a continuing threat of terrorism throughout Iraq, and the security situation is volatile. Some areas are rife with armed conflict, and the threat of kidnapping remains high. There is a constant possibility of terrorist attacks, including suicide bomb attacks, roadside bombs and car bombs.
Attacks can occur without warning throughout Iraq. Terrorists, extremists and both pro- and anti-government militia conduct frequent attacks on a range of targets in Iraq, including targets inside the International Zone in Baghdad. Both civilian and military aircraft approaching or departing from Baghdad International Airport have been attacked in the past.
Attacks have also occurred against various NGOs, journalists and foreign contractors, as well as against Iraqi civilians. Although it is almost impossible to predict terrorist attacks, expats living in Iraq should be vigilant at all times and be ready to contact their country's embassy in case of an emergency.