On Monday, December 4, a demonstration is currently ongoing at Tahrir Square in the Rusafah District of the capital Baghdad. Muqtada Al-Sadr - an Iraqi Shi'a cleric, politician, and militia leader - has called upon his Sadrist supporters to carry out protests over mounting speculation that US President Donald Trump may officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The number of protesters is thought to be around 500 at this time. Although US flags have been burned, the protest has remained peaceful so far. An increase in security around the International Zone has also been reported, which is standard procedure during protests in Tahrir Square.
President Trump has indicated a newfound willingness to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a departure from the previous US position of neutrality on the city claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians; the US embassy is currently located in Tel Aviv.
Individuals in Baghdad are advised to avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution.
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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