Northern Iraq travel is safer … kind of, sort of

Anyone looking to travel to Iraq may find solace in the fact that a number of governments in the northern portion of the country are more stable, relatively speaking.

That was enough for the Kurdistan Regional Government to issue a news release that “lauded the US Department of State’s updated guidelines for travel to Iraq, affirming the relative safety and security of the Kurdistan Region.” Clearly the Kurdistan Regional Government is in the midst of a PR campaign to battle the image problem facing the country.

“The security situation in Sulymaniya, Erbil, and Dohuk Governorates in northern Iraq has been relatively more stable than the rest of Iraq in recent years, but violence persists and conditions could deteriorate quickly,” the State Department said in a June 15 travel advisory.

“While the Kurdistan Regional Government continues to work to further stabilise this region, we will continue to do our part to uphold peace and protect every citizen within our borders,” Karim Sinjari, the KRG’s Minister for the Interior, said in a news release. “To date, not one US citizen, soldier or contractor has been kidnapped, wounded or killed in the Kurdistan Region.”

The State Department also noted that the northern city of Mosul “continues to experience intense violence and instability.”

No word on when the Wikitravel page on Iraq will be updated.

“Iraq is presently a war zone,” a warning on the top of Iraq’s Wikitravel page reads. “Traveling there is EXTREMELY dangerous and strongly discouraged. All foreigners are in extreme danger of kidnapping, murder, and general armed violence. Tourism visas for Iraq are not granted at the moment. However, the autonomous Kurdish controlled far north IS safe and has a separate visa regime. If you must go consult your embassy and see War zone safety.”

About The Travel Trolley 1009 Articles
Hop on board. The Travel Trolley is aimed at capturing the history and charm of roadside attractions. The site published from 2009 to 2016.