Unidentified men reportedly set fire to an anti-government protest camp near Baghdad's Tahrir Square late on Sunday, August 9. The men reportedly attacked the camp in an effort to end anti-government protests that have been ongoing in Iraq since October 2019. No casualties have been reported. Local media reports state that protesters responded to Sunday's attack by vowing to occupy the Baghdad International Zone (Green Zone) on Monday, August 10, in retaliation.
Further service delivery protests are likely across Iraq over the coming days. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of any protest site.
Following weeks of relative calm due to restrictions in place amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, anti-government protesters again took to the streets in Baghdad and several other cities on July 26, amid continued anger over increases of power outages, with temperatures of over 50°C (122°F), overwhelming generators.
On July 27, clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in Baghdad resulted in the death of at least two protesters as police used tear gas to disperse crowds. Several more people were reportedly injured, and security forces allegedly obstructed ambulances attempting to access the casualties.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence, budget ample travel time, and obey instructions issued by 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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