Denmark issues travel warning to Iraq, except for Kurdistan Region
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a travel advisory to its citizens on Sunday not to visit Iraq due to the increasing security tensions but noted that travel to the Kurdistan Region was okay.
“Due to the security situation in Iraq, we are now tightening the travel guidance and advising all travel to Iraq except the provinces of Duhok, Erbil, and Sulaimani in the autonomous Kurdish area,” the Danish MFA said in a statement.
“If you are in Iraq, you should consider leaving,” it added.
Denmark joins other Western and regional nations who have advised their citizens against travel to Iraq.
The announcements come after a US drone strike last week on a convoy near the Baghdad airport killed Qasim Soleimani, long-time head of the Quds Force, the paramilitary arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the head of the Iranian-backed Shia militia, Kata’ib Hizbollah, which was responsible for killing a US contractor on Dec. 27 in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base near Kirkuk.
On Sunday, the US-led Coalition against the Islamic State announced that it was suspending operations against the terrorist group to focus on ensuring the security of the military bases in Iraq from which its troops operate.
Another complicating factor is the vote of the Iraqi parliament late on Sunday, when it approved a draft bill, calling for an end to the presence of foreign troops in Iraq.
Kurdish and Sunni parliamentarians boycotted the extraordinary session of Iraq’s Council of Representatives. However, the draft measure was approved by the Council’s Shia members, who constitute a majority in the parliament and Iraq as a whole.
A formal vote on the bill is scheduled for next Saturday.