Local news sources have reported on Tuesday, May 5, an increased risk of attack in Samarra (Salah-al-Din province) and Tarmiyah (northern Baghdad belts) over the next few days due to the presence of IS insurgents in these areas. The threat of vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attacks was therefore flagged.
The threat comes amid an increased number of Islamic State (IS) attacks are reported in Iraq. Throughout the month of March, IS claimed responsibility for 59 attacks nationwide. Between Wednesday, April 1, and Saturday, April 25, the group claimed 97 attacks, 27 of which were carried out in Kirkuk.
A heightened security presence is to be anticipated in both province over the coming days. Attacks in other provinces cannot be ruled out.
Iraq declared victory over IS in December 2017 after a three-year military campaign against it; however, IS militants continue to carry out attacks, notably against security forces, and there has been a series of attacks in recent weeks. High-profile attacks often prompt equally significant security responses, including enhanced checkpoint operations and more proactive operations, with resulting effects on transit.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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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