A double-suicide bombing attack rocked central Baghdad on Monday, January 15, killing at least 38 people and wounding over 105 others. The attack reportedly took place at Tayaran Square in the Rusafa area of the city on Monday morning (local time). Though no group immediately claimed responsibility for Monday's twin suicide bombings, the attack is characteristic of similar assaults carried out by the Islamic State (IS) group. Additional militant attacks are possible in Baghdad in the coming weeks and months, particularly in advance of the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled in May.
Monday's suspected IS attack in Baghdad is the most deadly to affect the city since Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi claimed victory over IS in December 2017.
Terrorist attacks are common across Iraq. Diversionary and retaliatory attacks by the Islamic State (IS) have become increasingly common as IS has recently lost territory in Iraq and in neighboring Syria. It is likely that the group will continue to employ asymmetric terrorist tactics with greater frequency, using small cells that can operate within the group's progressively fragmenting leadership structure.
Individuals in Baghdad are advised to monitor the situation, report any suspicious objects or behavior, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is permissible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.