Anti-government protests are expected to continue in Baghdad on Friday, January 10, amid ongoing tensions between Iran and the United States within Iraq. There was a pause in protests due to recent clashes between the two countries, and organizers hope to re-galvanize support for the movement. Organizers state that protests will continue to demand the dissolution of the government and the holding of snap elections that will serve Iraqis. Gatherings are likely in Tahrir Square, other parts of Baghdad, and in other urban centers across the country.
Transportation and business disruptions, and a heightened security presence are to be expected throughout Iraq in the coming days. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Demonstrations broke out in Iraq on October 1 to protest perceived government corruption, inadequate provision of public services, and a lack of job opportunities. Following weeks of relative calm, demonstrations violently resumed on October 24-25, coinciding with the deadline issued by Grand Ayatollah Sistani to the government to produce a report on who in the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) was responsible for firing at civilians during previous demonstrations. An estimated 460 people have been killed and unconfirmed estimates state that over 25,000 people have been wounded since protests began. December 22 was the deadline set by President Barham Salih for Parliament to decide on a prime minister to replace PM Adel Abdul Mahdi.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential violence, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business in areas affected by anti-government demonstrations, 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.