Norway Warns Its Citizens to Avoid Travelling to Iraq Due to the Security Situation – –


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The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised its citizens against any travel to Iraq, except in the provinces of Dahuk, Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdish areas.
In a statement issued last week on May 19, the Ministry announced that citizens should not travel to these areas unless strictly necessary, reports.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs makes ongoing assessments of the travel councils. The security situation in Iraq, in general, is demanding, and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) are a threat in some provinces,” the statement reads.
According to the Ministry, Norwegian citizens already in Iraq are encouraged to fully assess their safety.
In addition, the Ministry has recommended that all Norwegian citizens planning a trip download the Travel Ready app, in which citizens will find up-to-date information for about 200 countries.
On May 11, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also urged its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Sri Lanka, given the recent civil unrest and economic woes.
Through a statement issued the same day, the Ministry stressed that the embassy in Colombo had limited opportunities to assist Norwegians in an emergency. Therefore the Ministry has encouraged Norwegians to follow developments and fully assess their safety in case of the urgent need to travel to Sri Lanka.
Previously, Norway asked its citizens to refrain from going to Shanghai for trips that are also not absolutely mandatory or necessary.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that anti-travel advice for Shanghai had been introduced due to the closure and restrictions related to COVID-19 that were introduced on April 1 in this city.
In this regard, the Ministry pointed out that as long as the closure continues in Shanghai, it will be difficult to travel in and out of its territory.
Regarding the advice against travel to Iraq, the same is mainly based on the ongoing conflicts in the country that in the recent weeks have intensified.
Since 2014, the Iraqi government, backed by Peshmerga forces, various militia groups, and US-led international coalition forces, has been engaged in an armed conflict against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This is an international armed conflict on Iraqi territory involving Turkish airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) without the consent of the Iraqi government.
Meanwhile, in 2017 after its territorial loss in Iraq, ISIL went from semi-conventional fighting to guerrilla warfare. According to Iraq experts Michael Knights and Alex Almeida, after the fall of ISIL attacks in 2018, they continued to fall in early 2019. The ISIL attacks began to increase in the second half of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.



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