On Wednesday, February 7, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Kurdish Peshmergas, and Shi’a-majority Hashd al-Sha’abi paramilitaries launched a military operation against remaining Islamic State pockets in northeastern Iraq, near the city of Tuz Khurmato (Salah ad-Din province) and in Kirkuk province. Furthermore, a US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes in the Hamrin Mountains, reportedly destroying terrorist shelters, arms caches, communication networks, and tunnels.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi claimed victory over IS in December 2017. However, the group retains a degree of freedom of movement in various areas of the country besides the northeast, including rural regions of Anbar province and along the Syrian border in the west.
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.