As of midday (local time) on Monday, November 18, protesters are blocking the entrance to the Umm Qasr port in Basra, preventing staff and trucks from entering. The situation will likely lead to a drop in operations at Iraq's main Gulf port.
In Baghdad, security forces have been clashing with protesters on the Al-Ahrar bridge on Monday morning. This follows reports during the previous night of at least one fatality due to a tear gas canister to the head. Officials announced that an additional 32 individuals were reportedly wounded in the protests. Activists are maintaining a presence on Al-Jumhuriyah and Al-Sinak bridges.
Protesters at the Majnoon oil concession are still attempting to block access to the concession for a second consecutive day, according to local sources.
Heightened security measures and disruptions to transportation and businesses are to be expected in Baghdad and other major urban centers over the coming days as protests continue. Disruptions to Internet and telecommunications services are also expected to continue amid the unrest. Clashes between protesters and security forces are likely near all protest sites.
Demonstrations broke out in Iraq on October 1 to protest perceived government corruption, inadequate provision of public services, and a lack of job opportunities. Following weeks of relative calm, demonstrations violently resumed on October 24-25, coinciding with the deadline issued by Grand Ayatollah Sistani to the government to produce a report on who in the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) was responsible for firing at civilians during previous demonstrations. More than 300 people have been killed and 10,000 wounded since protests began. On October 31, President Barham Saleh announced that Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi agreed to resign if the Iraqi parliament's party blocs can agree on a replacement.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to monitor the situation and refrain from nonessential travel to the border regions with Iran.
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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