On Sunday, April 12, suspected Islamic State (IS) militants carried out three separate attacks in Kirkuk and Diyala provinces, targeting members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). In Mansoura village (southwest Kirkuk province), IS militants are said to have killed one federal police officer and wounded several others in an attack, after which several IS members went into hiding. Security forces have reportedly surrounded the village and were conducting security sweeps of the area. Local media sources have reported that another group of gunmen attacked an ISF checkpoint in Jalawla district of Diyala province; no casualties were reported. An additional attack targeted an army post in the village of Tal-Basal (Kirkuk province), which ISF forces were able to repel.
A heightened security presence is to be anticipated in the abovementioned areas over the coming days and further attacks cannot be ruled out.
Although former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi claimed victory over the Islamic State (IS) in December 2017, the group retains a degree of freedom of movement in parts of the country, particularly in western and northern Iraq. IS militants continue to carry out attacks, notably against security forces. High-profile attacks often prompt equally significant security responses, including enhanced checkpoint operations and more proactive operations, with resulting effects on transit.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity and adhere to any 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.