Iraq Risk Assessment Country Guide

Iraq Risk Assessment

Often referred to as the "cradle of civilization," Iraq now sits on the site of the world's oldest culture. Today, modern discord and increased political tension have made the nation a volatile and dangerous place to live and work. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to Iraq particularly in the districts of Ramadi and Fallujah in the Anbar province.

Despite the United States officially withdrawing its military presence in 2011, Iraq continues to face violence and political instability. In August 2014, the international community called for new leadership in Iraq, and the next month Haider al-Adabi became the new prime minister. Since then, the Islamic State has continuously attacked and seized several cities and territory in the region. In February 2015, President Obama asked Congress to formally authorize military force against the Islamic State. The area remains continuously unstable. 

On December 4, 2015, the State Department reissued its travel warning for Iraq reminding travelers of the limited ability of the U.S. government to assist in problems that may arise including kidnappings and arrests. While some American government establishment are still functional, they warn against high risks of kidnapping and terrorist violence. According to the UK FCO, attacks have been on the rise since 2013 and threats of terrorism and kidnapping are prevalent across the country. 

American citizens remain a target for kidnapping and terrorist violence from groups like ISIL (or ISIS) including mines, mortars, rockets, shootings, explosively formed penetrators, improvised explosive devices, magnetic IEDs, and human and vehicle-borne IEDs. These attacks take place in public places like cafes and markets. Due to the high risks in Iraq, international insurance and professional security are recommended prior to traveling to the country. 

  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Terrorism

On November 19, 2015, the CDC issued a level 2 alert for those traveling to the Arabian Peninsula due to an outbreak of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). MERS is a viral respiratory illness that causes fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC encourages travelers to wash their hands consistently and avoid contact with other sick people in the area.  

Medical facilities aren't widespread throughout Iraq. If you suffer from an illness, it’s recommended to evacuate to the nearest adequate location. Since evacuation could be costly, it is advisable to have Medical Evacuation and Repatriation insurance before departing to Iraq. Clements also offers Medical Evacuation and Repatriation insurance, which covers transport expenses to the nearest capable medical facility.

On July 2014, there were 2 cases of polio reported near Baghdad and the CDC recommends polio vaccination prior to traveling to Iraq. In December 2013, health officials reported outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoeal syndrome in Dohuk and Erbil. In April 2013, there was an outbreak of measles in Dohuk, and in 2012, Cholera was reported in Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, and Kirkuk. Expats should be aware of these outbreaks and others that could potentially occur. 

Clements Worldwide's GlobalCare® Health insurance policy provides health care while you are outside of your home country. This policy includes USD 5 million in health care benefits, and allows you to choose any number of doctors across the world. Clements coverage enables flexible payment plans, choice of deductible and optional War and Terrorism coverage. This extends your policy to include illness or injury caused by an act of war and terrorism.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Iraq.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

The political situation in Iraq is highly unstable; sporadic military actions and other hostile events could occur at any time. Country-wide curfews and vehicle bans may be enforced at a moment's notice. From March 2nd to March 13th 2015, a combined effort from Iran and Iraq drove out ISIS militants from the city of Tikrit without the help of the U.S. led coalition. 

On October 5, 2015, a car bomb outside a market in Khalis exploded, killing 57 people and with many others left wounded. 

Road travel in Iraq is among the most dangerous in the world, with frequent roadside bombings and attacks on both military and civilian vehicles. Carjacking and robbery are also common.

Clements offers International Car insurance, which includes Physical Damage, Third Party Liability, and Excess Liability coverage. With flexible deductible options and fast claims processing, Clements’ policy will provide vehicle fleet coverage whether on the road, parked or transported abroad.

An optional Political Violence extension is also recommended in Iraq, which broadens the coverage to include strikes, riots, malicious damage, sabotage, war, terrorism or civil unrest.

The Persian Gulf near Iraq is in dangerous waters as mariners could be attacked at any time. It’s recommended to safeguard against threats of piracy through a Maritime Security insurance policy. Clements’ policy protects against piracy and ensures compliance with BIMCO insurance requirements and GUARDCON standards that will achieve cost savings, better coverage, and more efficient policy administration.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Iraq.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

Since 2013, terrorism acts of shootings, bombings, improvised explosive devices, rockets and mortars have been on the rise. Extremist terrorist groups such as ISIL, formerly known as al-Qa'ida in Iraq, are active and operate across the country. Attacks take place in public places like cafes and markets. As foreign nationals are high-value targets, they should be vigilant of terrorism activity in the provinces of Anbar, Baghdad, Ninewa and Salah Ad Din.

On October 31, 2016 the Islamic State carried out five suicide bombings in several Shi’ite neighborhoods in and around Baghdad resulting in 17 deaths and at least 60 wounded. The attacks came in the wake of Iraqi military efforts to recapture the ISIS stronghold of Mosul.

Beginning on October 16, 2016 a joint offensive by Iraqi forces, allied militias, Iraqi Kurdistan, and other international forces began a campaign to retake the ISIS stronghold in Mosul. In retaliation, the Islamic State has carried out a series of mass executions, suicide bombings, and terrorist attacks throughout the city. More than 850 people have been killed, executed, or shot to date.

On October 15, 2016 at least 8 attackers killed more than 80 people and wounded more than 90 others. In the series of four attacks, members of ISIS targeted Shi’ite Muslims, police officers, and Ishaqi Mobilization Media.

On October 3, 2016 a series of three bomb attacks killed at least 16 people and dozens more were injured around the outskirts of Baghdad. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State operating across northern Iraq.

On September 27, 2016, three car bombings claimed the lives of 19 people and injured 52 more. Two attacks were connected to Islamic State operations.

On September 24, 2016, Islamic State militants executed 25 individuals for alleged collusion with Iraqi security forces. In a separate incident in Tikrit, 18 people were killed in a series of shootings and car bombings. More than 21 others were injured.

On September 20, 2016, the Islamic state executed employees of Internet cafes in and around Mosul and they stoned a woman for “fornication.” Including other executions, the total killed exceeded 19 people.

On September 10, 2016, a series of car bombs exploded in two sites in Baghdad that killed 42 people including the attackers. Sixty others were injured in the attacks located in popular commercial areas.

On September 6, 2016, a suicide bomb attack was carried by the Islamic State in connection to the Syrian Civil War. In the Baghdad attack, 11 people were killed including the bomber, and 39 others were injured. In a separate attack on the same day, a car bomb exploded killing 12 and wounding 39 in Karradah.

On September 3, 2016, the Islamic State executed 17 of its own members as punishment for abandoning a gun battle.

On September 2, 2016, a series of rocket and bomb attacks in Baghdad left 15 people dead and more than 50 other wounded. The attacks occurred across four different sites in the city, including residential zones.

On August 28, 2016, An Islamic State attack on a police headquarters in al-Ratba, Anbar Province, killed five Iraqi soldiers in Anbar Province, Iraq.

On August 28, 2016, a group of five assailants opened fire on residents of a neighborhood near Karbala, Iraq.

On August 27, 2016, ISIS executed at least 48 civilians in Hawija, Iraq who were accused of attempting to escape and collaborate with Iraqi forces.

On August 27, 2016, ISIS executed 15 people in Mosul, Iraq. Among the 15 executed were five Kurdish men from Rojava who were shot by child soldiers of multiple nationalities.

On August 25, 2016, ISIS killed 20 escaping civilians, kidnapped, and injured 45 more during an ambush in Hawija, Iraq.

On August 21, 2016, 30 policemen were tortured and killed by assailants in al-Jawaana, Iraq, a village held by ISIS.

On August 16, 2016, from 5-25 civilians were killed and 20 were injured in a bombing as they attempted to escape violence.

On August 16, 2016, ISIS executed 25 civilians in Hawija, Iraq after they were accused of "spying".

On August 11, 2016, ISIS burned 20 people to death in Hawija, Iraq for refusing to join the group.

On August 6, 2016, at least 85 people were killed and hundreds of others were kidnapped after an Islamic State massacre. ISIS also kidnapped over 3,000 more people and executed 15 in the same city.

On August 4, 2016, the Islamic State executed 12 people accused of fleeing the Hawija District in Kirkuk.

On August 3, 2016, at least one member of Popular Mobilization Forces was killed by an IED bombing and 6 others were injured. 

On August 1, 2016, Popular Mobilization Forces foiled a terrorist attack by ISIS in Ramadi, Iraq. Seven assailants were killed and 4 people were injured.

On August 1, 2016, a bomb blast at Jafri Naddaf killed at least two persons and injured four others. Additionally, an IED explosion killed at least one person and injured seven others. A soldier was killed and two others injured in a sniper attack at an army checkpoint in Tarmiya in northern Baghdad.

On July 25, 2016, a suicide bomber killed more than 17 people and wounded 25 more at a police checkpoint in Al Khalis. Three separate IED explosions in the Eastern Suburbs of Baghdad killed 5 and injured 17 others.

On July 23, 2016, a suicide plot was thwarted by Ninevah Operations and dozens of Islamic State affiliated assailants were killed.

On July 7, between 56 and 100 people were killed in Islamic State related bombings at the gate of the Mausoleum of Sayid Mohammed bin Ali al-Hadi in the city of Balad.

On July 3, 2016, at least 325 people were killed and over 246 were injured in a series of coordinated attacks orchestrated by the Islamic State. Attacks included car bombs in Baghdad, Sha’ab, and two others. 

On June 28, 2016, fourteen people were killed and 32 injured after a suicide bombing at a Sunni mosque in Abu Ghraib.

On June 24, 2016, five civilians were executed by ISIS after being charged for allegedly cooperating with the government.

On June 10, 2016 in Fallujah, ISIS opened fire on fleeing civilians, killing at least 30.

On June 9, 2016, at least 12 people were killed and at least 32 wounded after a suicide bombing at a military headquarters, where New Zealand and Australia troops are located.

On June 6, 2016, ISIS executed approximately 65 civilians and arrested around 90 in Mosul.

On June 5, 2016 in Saqlawiyah, more than four hundred soldiers were found dead, many with gun wounds. The soldiers were likely executed on an unknown date. They belonged to the army’s 10th brigade.

On June 5, 2016, several civilians were shot and killed as they tried to escape ISIS controlled territories while swimming or taking a boat across the Euphrates River.

On June 5, 2016, three civilians were beheaded. They were charged with working with the Iraqi government and Peshmerga forces.

On June 3, 2016, ISIS burned 19 Yezidi girls alive after they refused to have sex with their captives.

On May 17, 2016, a series of eight attacks in Baghdad killed more than 100 people and wounded over 200 more.

On May 13, 2016, at least 16 Real Madrid fans were killed and at least 30 injured after ISIS attacked their clubhouse in Balad, Iraq.

On May 1, 2016, attacks targeted Iraq's deep Shiite south, with the explosion of twin suicide car bombs in the city of Samawa. At least 33 people were killed and 75 wounded.

On April 4, 2016, a series of suicide bombings in Iraq claimed the lives of more than 30 people, injuring more than 60 others. 

On March 25, 2016, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd after a local football game in a village near Iskandariya, in a mixed Sunni-Shiite area, killing at least 30 people and wounding more than 65. The mayor of the town was among those killed in the explosion. No group has claimed responsibility but Islamic State is suspected.

On March 6, 2016, a suicide bomber kills at least 60 people and wounds 70 others after ramming his explosives-laden truck into a security checkpoint at one of entrances to the Iraqi city of Hillah, south of Baghdad.

On February 28, 2016, up to 70 people were killed and 60 wounded in Sadr City, a southern suburb of the Iraqi capital, as two bombs went off at a crowded market. The explosions ripped through a market selling mobile phones in the mainly Shiite Muslim district. The assailants were suicide bombers riding motorcycles through the crowd.

On February 6, 2016, the Islamic State have executed over 300 police and army personal, as well as civil activists by firing squad in Mosul.

On December 9, 2015 in Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at in the doorway of a Shiite mosque at the end of prayer in Baghdad. Eleven people were killed with twenty wounded, all civilians. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

On November 30, 2015, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a checkpoint along a route used by Shiite pilgrims in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of al-Shaab, killing nine people and wounding another 21. Four soldiers who were guarding the route were among the dead. The attack was attributed to ISIL.

On November 7, 2015, multiple bombs were set off across Baghdad in the Duwanim, Nahrawan, and Tarmiya areas. The blasts killed 9 and left 15 wounded. Three men were shot dead. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but ISIL is suspected.

In a series of attacks and bombings in Iraq on August 13, 2015, a refrigeration truck was loaded with explosives and driven into a local market in Baghdad. The explosion killed more than 75 people and injured more than 200 others. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. 

On July 17, 2015, the Islamic State sent a car bomb into a crowded market in Khan Bani Saad that killed at least 100 people and injuring more than 170. The bombing also destroyed several surrounding buildings. 

A War and Terrorism insurance policy from Clements offers the right coverage against the risks of civil unrest, war, riots, looting, and acts of terrorism.

There is also a high threat of kidnapping, and British nationals have been targeted in the past. It’s pertinent to be vigilant and take all proper security precautions while traveling in Iraq. Clements also provides a Kidnap and Ransom insurance policy, which ensures financial assistance following a kidnapping, such as independent investigations, negotiations, arrangement and delivery of funds.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Iraq.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions