The Iraqi Government has announced that Sunday, December 10 is a public holiday, in order to celebrate its declared victory over Islamic State (IS). It is also reported that a large military parade and air display will take place from 09:00 (local time), possibly centred on the Hands of Victory (Crossed Swords) area within the International Zone (IZ) of Baghdad. Checkpoints around the IZ may be shut for the duration of the parade, although this remains unconfirmed. Traffic disruption is expected on main supply routes surrounding the IZ.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over IS in a televised announcement on Saturday, December 9. In late November, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced that forces had reclaimed Rawa, the last remaining town under IS control.
As IS's capabilities to successfully wage insurgent warfare in Iraq and Syria wane, it is likely that the group will continue to employ asymmetric terror tactics with greater frequency, using small cells that can operate within the group's progressively fragmenting leadership structure.
Individuals in Iraq, especially Baghdad, are advised to prepare for disruption to travel and to avoid any 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