Anti-government demonstrators gathered in the cities of Baghdad, Nasiriyah (Dhi Qar province), and Kut (Wasit province) on Sunday, May 10. In central Baghdad, protesters assembled in Tahrir Square to demonstrate against the formation of a new government under Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi following his appointment by the Iraqi Parliament on Thursday, May 7. Reports suggest that protesters also burned a number of tires on Republic Bridge, which was closed by security forces to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the Green Zone. Demonstrators reportedly threw stones and Molotov cocktails at security forces who used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Clashes between police and protesters also took place in Nasiriyah and Kut.
Related demonstrations are possible in urban centers across Iraq over the coming days and weeks. Further clashes between police and protesters cannot be ruled out. A heightened security presence and disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected near demonstration sites.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in areas affected by anti-government demonstrations, and adhere to all 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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