Some 200 protesters from Huwayr obstructed a road leading to a major oil field and clashed with security forces in Basra province per reports on Monday, December 3. According to local sources, some of the demonstrators - which included young men who were reportedly promised employment - were wounded in the clashes. Unconfirmed reports have also claimed that a small group of demonstrators gathered outside of the Basra Oil Company headquarters on Monday demanding employment.
Similar demonstrations are to be expected in Basra province over the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near demonstration sites. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Basra was the stage of violent protests in summer 2018, which culminated on September 7 when protesters set fire to several government buildings, including the Iranian Consulate, the provincial government building, and the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq group headquarters. While the scale of protests has decreased in recent weeks, demonstrations continue to be held. Participants in the protests have generally demanded employment opportunities, improved public services, and a reduction in perceived government corruption.
Individuals in Basra province are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
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