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Diplomacy in Action

07. U.S. Department of State travel warning concerning available limited emergency consular services in Iraq following military action (July 15, 2003)


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O 151509Z JUL 03
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS IMMEDIATE
SPECIAL EMBASSY PROGRAM IMMEDIATE
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AFOSI DET 518 OL-A CHIEVRES BE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS STATE 204543

INFORM CONSULS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC, ASEC, PREL, PTER, IZ, PL
SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING - IRAQ

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: CASC, ASEC, PREL, PTER, IZ, PL

SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING - IRAQ

This Travel Warning provides updated information on the
security situation in the country and emphasizes the
U.S. Government's limited capability to provide services
to U.S. citizens. It also notes that the U.S. passport
restrictions have been lifted. The security threat to
all American citizens in Iraq remains high. This
replaces the Travel Warning of April 25, 2003.

The Department of State strongly warns U.S. citizens
against travel to Iraq. Although the restrictions on
the use of U.S. passport travel to, in or through Iraq
has been lifted, travel to Iraq remains dangerous.
Remnants of the former Baath regime, transnational
terrorists, and criminal elements remain active.
Coalition led military operations continue, and there
are daily attacks against Coalition forces throughout
the country. Attacks have occurred in Baghdad, Faluja,
Ramadi, Tikrit, Bayji, Baqubah, Mosul and Kirkuk, but
the security environment in all of Iraq remains volatile
and unpredictable. Faluja is especially dangerous.
Attacks on coalition forces as well as civilian targets
usually occur during the late evening and early morning
hours. Travel at night is extremely dangerous.

There have been attacks on civilian as well as military
convoys. Travelers are strongly urged to travel in
convoys of at least four vehicles in daylight hours
only. There has been an increase in the use of
Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and/or mines on
roads, particularly in plastic bags, soda cans, and dead
animals. Grenades and explosives have been thrown into
vehicles from overpasses, particularly in crowded areas.

There is a U.S. consular officer in Baghdad who can
provide limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in
Iraq and is located at the Iraq Forum (Convention
Center) across from the al-Rashid Hotel. The consular
officer cannot issue U.S. passports or provide visa
service. American citizens who choose to visit or
remain in Iraq despite the warning contained herein are
urged to pay close attention to their personal security,
should avoid rallies and demonstrations, and should
inform the U.S. consular officer of their presence in
Iraq.

Private American citizens may obtain the latest security
information by contacting the Iraqi Assistance Center's
Security Officer, also located in the Iraq Forum, at
tel: 1-914-360-9241 (New York number). Detailed
security information is also available at
www.centcom.mil.

Updated information on travel and security in Iraq may
be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-
888-407-4747 within the United States, and from
overseas, 1-317-472-2328. U.S. citizens who plan to
travel to or remain in Iraq despite this Travel Warning
should consult the Department of State's latest Consular
Information sheets and the current Worldwide Caution
Public Announcement, which are available on the
Department's Internet site at http://travel.state.gov.

Minimize considered.
POWELL

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