Unidentified militants reportedly attacked the high-voltage Kirkuk-Diyala electrical transmission line in Kirkuk province on Thursday, August 2, causing power outages in Kirkuk, Nineveh, and Salah Al-Din provinces. The attack on the line in the Ausaj Valley (near the Enjana checkpoint) notably resulted in power outages in the cities of Mosul (Nineveh province) and Kirkuk (Kirkuk province); the line had been repaired and electricity restored to affected areas as of Sunday, August 5. Additional militant attacks on electrical transmission lines are possible in northern Iraq in the coming weeks.
According to the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, this most recent incident marks the eighth attack on the Kirkuk-Diyala electrical transmission line in two months. Also, on July 31, a bomb attack damaged the Kirkuk-Erbil power transmission line, causing power shortages in Nineveh province. The Ministry of Electricity has reported difficulties in repairing damaged electrical infrastructure due to a lack of available equipment.
Power cuts, primarily due to aging infrastructure, have been a major source of recent popular discontent in Iraq, contributing to large-scale protests in the south of the country and Baghdad since July 8 which have left at least 14 people dead.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, avoid all protests and large public gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the 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.