Media sources have reported an ongoing protest outside the American Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, December 31. Protesters seek to oppose recent US airstrikes on military targets in Al Qaim. Media suggests the crowd are attempting to set up tents outside the Embassy. It is not clear whether protesters were allowed to cross the 14th of July Bridge or if they were already inside the International Zone before it was locked down by security forces.
A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the protest.
The US military carried out airstrikes on multiple locations in Iraq linked with the Kataib Hezbollah militia group on Sunday, December 29. The operation comes two days after a US civilian contractor was killed in a rocket attack on the K1 Iraqi military base near Kirkuk. US officials have blamed the Iran-backed militia group for the incident. Two Kataib Hezbollah locations in Syria were reportedly targeted in Sunday's operation as well.
Individuals in Baghdad are advised to avoid the area, monitor the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.