Is Iraq safe to visit in 2023?

By Joan Torres 38 Comments Last updated on April 14, 2023

is Iraq safe

Wanna travel to Iraq with Against the Compass?

Join a group of likeminded travelers and visit the wonders of Baghdad, Babylon, Karbala, Mosul, and more

Oct 29th to Nov 5th, 2023

For the average traveler, Iraq is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world to travel to, and the reasons are more than obvious.

From the Iran-Iraq war back in 1980 to the Saddam Hussein Gulf conflict, the following US invasion, and the more contemporary civil war, where the bloodthirsty Islamic State was the main protagonist, the media has been showing us a dangerous Iraq dominated by war for more than three decades.

It will take years for Iraqis to get rid of that unfortunate reputation, and that’s why we are here:

To tell you that despite all that recent trouble, safety in Iraq has drastically improved, making it a relatively safe country to travel to, a land inhabited by beautiful Iraqis who just carry on with their lives and show nothing but kindness to any foreign guest they may bump into.

This guide is a complete analysis made to diagnose how safe is Iraq from a traveling perspective, which includes my personal experience, local insights, safety by region and more.

Note that I have to Iraq multiple times, usually traveling independently.

We also organize group expeditions into Iraq, the next one scheduled on:

Oct 29th to Nov 5th (2023)


is Iraq safe

Latest update: Is Iraq safe now?

How safe is Iraq right now?

In March 2021, Pope Francis went to Iraq, visiting regions once held by ISIS, while proving to the rest of the world that Iraq wasn’t as dangerous as the media pretends it is.

Right after his visit, the Iraqi Government announced the introduction of a visa on arrival regime, available for up to 38 nationalities, including all EU passport holders, the USA, Canada, the UK and a couple more.

Check the Iraq visa section of my travel guide for more details.

Before the Pope’s visit, getting into Iraq with a tourist visa had always been extremely difficult, and expensive, so easing and liberalizing their visa regime, while encouraging travelers to go to Iraq, can only mean one thing:

From a tourism perspective, the safety situation has improved, which means that Iraq is a safe country to visit

The Islamic State took control of pretty much the entire north of Iraq – excluding the Kurdistan region – but by March 2019, they had lost most of their territory and today, they are nothing but a few insurgent groups hiding in remote desert areas, or not even that.

Their legacy in the northern towns and cities is still visible, especially in the old city of Mosul, most streets of which are composed of rubble. Reconstruction, however, is ongoing, many Iraqis are slowly moving back to their hometowns and the city bazaars seem more lively than ever.

So, is Iraq safe to travel?

In my opinion, there’s never been a safer time to travel to Iraq than in 2023.

Is it safe to travel to Mosul
The Old City of Mosul is mostly composed of rubble, but Mosul is a safe destination within Iraq nowadays

Is it safe to travel to Iraq? A look into the Goverment’s advice

When looking at the Iraq travel advice from the US Department of State or the FCDO, it looks like Iraq is immersed in the most dangerous chaos ever, a giant red zone where only the absolutely insane would dare to venture.

FCDO Iraq travel advice – Advice against all travel

While it’s true that this kind of advice has a certain logic behind it, know that they also show a distorted version of reality, typically based on an unlikely worst-case scenario.

Instead of trusting these biased reports, do talk to travelers who have recently been there, or locals who can tell you the latest updates in terms of safety in Iraq.

This blog post is precisely that, a deep analysis based on my personal traveling experience and locals’ insights.

How safe is traveling to Iraq from my personal experience

I traveled all over Iraq multiple times, from everywhere in the Kurdistan area to Mosul, Baghdad, Nasiriya, the Marshes, and everything in between.

In my experience, I personally believe that Iraq is a safe country to travel to, and the reasons are as follows:

Is Fallujah safe?
Iraqi police in the city of Fallujah

It’s easy to move around

I found Iraq to be an extremely easy country to travel around, with plenty of public transportation and accommodation options.

All towns and cities are well-connected with buses and local shared taxis, and pretty much any city has a good offer of hotels for all budgets.

To my surprise, my initial perception was that backpacking in Iraq would be quite challenging, but it was not and in fact, I found Iraq much safer than Afghanistan, Mali, or even Pakistan, for example

The atmosphere is pretty relaxed

I was also surprised by how calm and peaceful all towns and cities seemed to be.

Petty crime is extremely rare and there wasn’t any visible tension.

I was always able to walk around freely with my camera without anyone ever asking questions or stopping me.

Local Iraqis will be there to help you

Local Iraqis are particularly kind, helpful, and hospitable. Amazing people.

As soon as they knew I was a foreigner, they would always approach me. In the worst-case scenario, they would just want to have a friendly chat while on other occasions, they would even offer to show me around or a cup of chai.

From my experience, Iraq felt like a safe place to visit, and I can’t recommend it enough.

teahouse in Nasiriya, Iraq
Meeting local Iraqis is a great way to travel safer in Iraq

Analysis: which regions in Iraq are safe to visit?

Let’s look at Iraq’s safety by region.

Is Baghdad safe?

Baghdad is a giant metropolis and the most likely starting point for adventurers heading into this country. It’s chaotic and absolutely packed with traffic jams but, with its lively bazaars and historical sites, it’s also one of the most exciting destinations to visit in Iraq.

The capital has lived some pretty dark days in its recent past, but it’s also one of the places which has seen the biggest security improvement.

Nowadays, I personally believe that Baghdad is a safe city to travel to.

There’s a lot of security, you can walk around freely, and the locals are very nice.

Nevertheless, always be cautious. We can’t forget that Baghdad is under terrorism threat, as happened in July 2021.

Is Baghdad safe?
Baghdad is chaotic but safe

Is southern Iraq safe?

Anywhere south of Baghdad is considered southern Iraq, which includes popular destinations such as Karbala, Najaf, Babylon, Nasiriya, Chibayish, and Basra.

ISIS was mainly operating in the north and west, so south of Iraq has been safe for quite a while, even during ISIS rule.

Are Karbala and Najaf safe?

As you may know, Karbala and Najaf are the holiest cities in the world for Shia Muslims, two cities that every year receive millions of pilgrim tourists.

Given their importance for the Shia community, many foreign travelers believe Karbala and Najaf are dangerous cities to travel to, an obvious high-priority target for Sunni terrorists.

The threat definitely exists, but there’s also a high level of security, with strict checkpoints within a 1km perimeter from the actual shrines.

Moreover, to enter the shrines you are thoroughly checked and cameras and bags are not allowed to be brought inside.

Despite all this trouble, however, the atmosphere was rather relaxed as well.

is Karbala safe?
Karbala is one of the safest places to visit in Iraq

Is northern Iraq safe?

The north is dominated by Mosul, a city liberated from ISIS back in 2017.

Is it safe to travel to Mosul?

I visited Mosul several times and it does feel safe, a city full of hope, becoming more and more vibrant as we speak, and where UNESCO is putting tremendous efforts into rebuilding one of the most beautiful old cities in the Middle East.

Nowadays, you can walk around all by yourself or go fo dinner alone and you will find everything pretty smooth.

For more information, read. How to visit Mosul.

Is western Iraq safe?

Fallujah, Hit, Haditha or Rawa are all cities in West Iraq which you might be familiar with, especially Fallujah, a city that witnessed a fierce battle during the US Invasion.

The area was also taken by the Islamic State, only liberated in 2016/17.

Today, the west of Iraq remains the most off the beaten track region in Iraq – with touristic interest – home to lovely oasis towns sitting on the shores of the Euphrates River.

Is Fallujah safe?

Fallujah is the only place I have visited in the west of Iraq. It’s the Iraqi city that has suffered the most, first with the American invasion, and then with ISIS.

Today, Fallujah can finally enjoy some peace, but it’s also true that most visitors are forced to be accompanied by the local authorities.

Besides American soldiers and ISIS fighters, Fallujah has seen very few foreigners since 2001, so the locals are particularly happy to see international visitors interested in learning about the contemporary of their city.

This is the bridge in Fallujah where those American contractors were hanged from

Is Kurdistan safe?

Kurdistan is, by far, the safest region in Iraq.

For more information, read the next section.

is Mosul safe
The ongoing reconstruction of Al Noori mosque in Mosul

Is Kurdistan safe to visit?

When reading about safety in Iraq, it’s important to differentiate between the northern region of Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq.

Is it safe to travel to Erbil and Iraqi kurdistan?

Kurdistan has always been a relatively safe and easy country to travel to compared to Federal Iraq, and a good alternative for travelers looking for something less hardcore.

Iraqi Kurdistan is a semi-autonomous region located in the north of the country.

Check my Iraqi Kurdistan travel guide

Technically, they are the same country, but Kurdistan enjoys a significant degree of political autonomy, it has its own army, there are different visa rules and you even get a different passport stamp.

From a cultural standpoint, Kurdistan is very different from the rest of Iraq.

You need to keep in mind that Kurdish people are not Arabs:

They wear their own traditional clothes, eat their own food, and speak a different language. Kurds like to say that their culture is closer to Iran than Arabs.

is Erbil safe
A Kurdish man in Erbil

They are two completely different regions and, whatever you have been hearing in the news, for the past years, in relation to bombs, terrorist attacks, and ISIS, it didn’t really happen in Kurdistan but in the rest of Iraq.

Kurdistan has always been a relatively safe place to travel to, and that’s why travelers and backpackers alike have been visiting the country for quite some time now.

Why is Kurdistan safer than the rest of Iraq?

No religious sectarianism – Kurdistan is a mix of different religions and groups, including Christians, Muslims, Yazidis, Assyrians and more. However, their national identity has always prevailed over their religion, the reason why Kurdistan has never been a victim of the religious sectarianism that nearly led the rest of Iraq into being a failed state.

Support from foreign armies – If you look at the map before the liberation, you clearly see that Kurdistan was bordering ISIS territory. Yet, ISIS barely managed to get into Kurdistan and that’s partly due to the large support and presence of foreign armies, especially the Americans.

ISIS map in 2015

Large expat community – This is more like a consequence of all the above but, since Iraqi Kurdistan has always enjoyed certain stability, Erbil has become some sort of (a safe) regional business hub with many settled foreign companies.

Seeing Western expats and families wandering around the city is not a rare thing to see. On the other hand, there are many foreigners living in Baghdad too but, while in Erbil they are free to move around without putting themselves at risk, in Baghdad, they are not allowed to leave the international area known as the Green Zone.

Read: Where in the Middle East is safe to travel?

is Kurdistan safe?
Enjoying our time in Iraqi Kurdistan, the safest region to visit in Iraq

Is Iraq a dangerous country to visit? What you need to know

Is Iraq dangerous for tourists?

Here are some of the dangers:

Is there ISIS in Iraq?

After the liberation, most ISIS fighters were either killed or locked up in the high-security prison of Al-Hoot, in Nasiriya.

Those who managed to escape are either hiding the fact that they are former fighters or scraping by in the desert.

Suicide bombings in Iraq

Unfortunately, one of the dangers in Iraq is that the country is under terrorist threat, and anybody telling you otherwise is ignoring the reality because, in 2021, two suicide bombings took place in Baghdad, in January and July.

However, the probability of being caught in such an attack is low, since they happened in a specific place, at a certain time of the day.

Checkpoints in Iraq

One of the challenges – not really a danger- you may face as an independent traveler is going through checkpoints.

There are both army and police checkpoints at the entrance of every city, and also on roads. They may convey a certain respect but they exist for security reasons.

Some checkpoints are easy and you will just get through. Others, however, require some extra patience because the respective authorities will want to check your passport or even what’s inside your bag. And last, there are two checkpoints (Samarra and Nasiriya), where having a local contact is a must.

In any case, know that at all checkpoints the army guys tend to be friendly.

For more information and tips, check the checkpoints section of my travel guide.

Checkpoints in Kurdistan
In the Kurdistan region, all checkpoints are run by Peshmerga (the Kurdish army), but they are a lot easier than in Iraq. They might check your passport from time to time, but even independent travelers self-driving will get through very easily.

Shia Militias

Before venturing into Federal Iraq, I was warned to be careful with the different Shia Militias. They control different parts of Iraqi territory and are known to be quite hostile with anyone.

That’s not entirely true, in my opinion. Having traveled from north to south, the only place where I encountered some slight trouble was in the city of Samarra, which is controlled by a Shia Militia named Sarayat al Salam, and the only trouble they gave me was that they made me wait for a long time, but they were never unfriendly.

is it dangerous to travel to Iraq
Hanging out in a checkpoint

How to stay safe in Iraq

Consider joining a tour

Traveling with a group and an expert local guide will make things much safer!

Against the Compass has the following expedition scheduled in 2023:

Oct 29th to Nov 5th, 8 days

Epic 8-day expeditions, where we will be visiting places like: Baghdad, Babylon, Mosul, Samarra, Hatra, Mesopotamian Marshes, Karbala and more!

All details can be found here: Iraq EXPEDITION.

Do you wish to join a small group, but you can’t travel on any of the above dates?

No problem, just shoot me an email ( indicating:

  • How many people you are
  • How many days do you want to spend in Iraq
  • Which dates

And we will try to find other travel partners you may travel with. Otherwise, know that we can also organize private, tailored trips. 

An Against the Compass EXPEDITION we did in Iraqi Kurdistan

Make local friends

For independent travelers, having local friends is almost as good as traveling with a local guide.

For that, the Facebook group Iraqi Travelers Café is a great place to stay connected with English-speaking local Iraqis.

Use common sense

Stay away from public demonstrations, don’t walk alone in certain areas in the middle of the night, don’t trust anyone with suspicious behavior, etc., the usual stuff. Use your common traveling sense.

Is Iraq safe for American tourists?

Because of the invasion, many Americans wonder whether Iraq is a safe country to travel to for US citizens.

To be honest, I don’t think your nationality makes any difference in terms of safety. To the average Iraqi, you will just be one more foreigner and, when it comes to getting a visa, the same rules apply as EU passport holders.

Nevertheless, I have to admit that for entering Samarra – where you find the checkpoint of Sarayat al Salam – Americans tend to spend longer there, and that’s because, during the invasion, the US army killed many members from this Shia militia.

Is Iraq safe for women?

According to female travelers I have been talking to, traveling in Iraq as a solo woman isn’t very different than in other Arab countries like Egypt or Jordan.

Occasional verbal harassment does happen, but it’s rare, and most Iraqis will be nothing but extra kind with any foreign women.

What to wear as a solo female traveler in Iraq

In cities like Baghdad, Mosul, or Nasiriya, you will see all sorts of women dressing in all different ways, some of them apparently quite liberal.

However, do always dress modestly in order to avoid unwanted attention, and bring a headscarf with you, since you may need it depending on the area you are visiting.

On the other hand, in Karbala and Najaf – two very holy cities – a full abaya covering your whole body is mandatory.

For more information, read this Iraq travel guide for females.

More information for traveling safely in Iraq

All our guides to Iraq

Check more safety guides


Very interesting and unbelievable article! Congrats for your work! This opens new horizons to unusual travel destinations. What did the locals told you? What do they think about people visiting their “not the safest country”? Did you meet any other traveler?

You have a new follower here! Wish you the best and many more posts like this one.

Molt segur. Cuniiiiill!!!!

Hey Marc, thank you so much for your email. Basically, what locals told me is that the Kurdistan government started a campaign to promote tourism in Kurdistan. The area is completely safe and they want the world to know about it. In Erbil, there are quite a lot of expats, especially from the American army. To be honest, no one tells you anything because everyday you see a few foreigners. Outside of Erbil, the situation is quite different and they basically ask you a lot of questions. In my case, in most of the times I had been the first Spanish they met, so they were basically asking loads of questions about football and simple stuff like that.

This is awesome! I can’t even imagine the reactions if I said I wanted to go to Iraq, which I would love to do!

People get crazy! But they went crazy when I told them I was going to Sudan, which is one of the most peaceful regions i’ve ever been. If you ever go to Iraq, let me know 😉

Hi joan
I just want to thank you about all the good things that you have mention about iraq
I am 23 year old iraqi citizen
My name is mustafa
I live in the capital baghdad
My feeling now is acobination of happyness and sadness ;

Happy of seeing one part of iraq is become great and safe after 2003 and forigener pepole can say what you said about us

Sad because the pepol who run kurdistan are doing what ever it takes to make what you went through happen for only thier teritory only which is kurdistan
I dont hate kurdish peopl at all
I invey them only cuz they have some one who looking after them
I dont want to start talking about that there is no one care about us cuz we dont diserve to be treated good
you wont belive if i told you that i was asking google “when will iraq be safe like any other county?? ” and i found your articl
From that you cat tell what my life is .

Hi Mustafa, thank you so much. I really liked what you wrote, as I find it really sensitive. I would like to feature you on one of my Facebook posts. Only if I have your permission, of course. I would like to feature you and add a picture of your choice. It can be you or any place you like in Iraq. What do you think?

What a helpful article Joan. I knew little about Kurdistan. But then I read this super detailed piece. Well done! Because the little I knew painted this region as being either outright dangerous or at the least, somewhere to skip during your travels. Per usual, the Western and World media paints with such a wide brush and completely divides the world with fear versus bringing it together with honesty, truth and love. Thanks for sharing.

Hey Ryan! Erbil is an awesome metropolis which has been in peace for years!. It is rich in petrol and has a potential and growing middle class. The Government of Kurdistan wanted Erbil to become a business hub in the Middle East, similar to Dubai but, unfortunately, due to the war, it was not possible I guess. But still, this is home to a huge expat community. The city is clean, full and history and with plenty of awesome restaurants. You should give it a try!

Thank you about all the good things that you have mention about iraqi Kurdistan. My name is Haval I’m from Erbil, I am a tour Guide. Did you have chance to visit Mar Mattai, Alqosh and Shanadar cave. What about Sulaymani province , I think worth to visit.
Thank you.

Your post is really helpful, especially for travelers looking for specific information. If you get to Iraqi Kurdistan next time you visit, drop me a message. I believe that this could help a lot of people in the region. Your post is immensely helpful.

As-salāmu ʿalaykum
Praise be to Allah, peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon you and your family.
My name is Abbas Rajiha,Iam 16 years old Originally from Yemen.I lost both parents in the war,and since the death of my parents things have not been easy with me here.But before the death of father he deposited the sum of $1.5million usd with a security company.I will need your assistance to help me receive the money
so i can come to your country to start a new life and go back to school
you can reach me via my email
thanks and I am willing to offer you some percentage of the money for your help

Hi Rajiha. I am so sorry to hear about your family. Hopefully I can help you to leave the terrible situation you are currently in. Please let me know what you need from me to help you.

Are you Rajiha’s friend (or Rajiha herself), someone who is trying to make her story more credible, or are you so stupid to believe that you are about to get rich by commenting on a random blog post from a random blog?

Pathetic propaganda for the Kurdish terrorists by another filthy amerishit. The problem is that you filthy ameriturds ,along with the Kurds are despised in Iraq. And when the Iraqi people are liberated from the Iranian and Amerishit scum, those Kurds will be annihilated ,it will be MUCH WORSE than Saddam’s era.

First of all, I am not American, and second of all, this is not propaganda but traveling information.
I wish actual Iraq was as safe and easy to visit, so I could travel & write about it but, unfortunately, it’s not.

Iraq is safer than you are making it seem! It is not one of the most dangerous countries and this is definitely propaganda!! You need yo get your facts straight before writing all of this and you can visit Iraq and see for your self the peacefulness of our country and its people

Hi Dania,

I admire your patriotism – I’m Irish and for many years my country had a bad reputation for travel.

I am curious though – have you travelled to other parts of the world?

No matter if you are American or Spanish. Why do we let hatred speech be published here, as well as scams? Racist speech against Americans and Kurds, genocidal speech against Kurds. Unacceptable.

was touched by the facebook video post of the American expat having trouble to exit Kurdistan.
I hereby share my comments:

All travelers/passengers are responsible for verifying immigration policies prior to their entry to a given country, same as to their exit from the country, all related territories to this country included.

Kurdistan is indeed, unfortunately, not an independent country yet. But it has a different, much more relaxed, visa regime, than Iraq, the federative country in which it is obliged to remain at present.

Much more relaxed, true, much more expatriate-friendly and not corrupt at all; however, it is still a distinct territory and a separate visa regime. And that has fortunately been so for many years.
This should be known to anyone with a minimal general knowledge of the context and should be verified, as said, by the expatriate; a thing, that can be easily done on social media, travel sites and governmental sites.
An expatriate that travels to Baghdad with an Iraqi visa and chooses to go through the papers, as said in the video, and act meticulously even on the COVID-19 test – should not miss the visa issue, even without a reliable travel agent that has issued the ticket for her/him.

It is logical and common in the Middle East and elsewhere:

You enter Sinai in Egypt, Aqaba in Jordan, Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, Northern/Southern Cyprus from each direction, Pogradec in Albania, Mitrovica in Kosovo/Serbia, Kish/Bandar Anzali Free Trade Zones in Iran, tourists poles in the DMZ between the Koreas, Puerto Rico and few Mexican and Canadian territories vs. the US:

You can exit them back to original, immediate place you came from – with the same visa you entered it, and according to the time-limits decreed in those places.

However, if you wish to exit those territories to the outside world, and not to the place you came from, but to a third destination (to enter Eilat/Israel from Sweden but to return to Sweden from Aqaba/Jordan) – you have to get an exit visa, or to stay a minimum amount of nights, depends on the local immigration law.

As for the lady, apparently, she is very well connected (maybe due to the fact that she is not a 20-year old volunteer that could be new to the context, and having a year-long multiple entry Iraqi visa is a rare, precious commodity): She managed to get into Kurdistan with the help of the Mosul Governor. Why not to do it the right way? Only because Kurdistan was closed (protection from COVID-19) and because the flight was from Erbil whereas it could have equally been booked from Baghdad? The Governor could have then helped her to exit Kurdistan the same way.

Anyway, having a recourse to Mosul Governor’s good services should have triggered an alarm signal in the lady’s mind : His help was needed because her entry to Kurdistan would have not been that smooth and needed an exceptional intervention, meaning: getting out of Kurdistan, out of the Iraqi territory and not back to Iraq – would have been problematic as well, had she not settled her immigration status as thousands of others do every day. The Governor is not a travel agent and not an immigration officer, and Kurdistan is not a third-world country nor a banana-republic. It has its SoP and the Governor, by the way, is not even part of Kurdistan.

Kurdistan does not ask her or her friend to pay 900 USD. Its Administration does not need their money nor do they fine them with pleasure. They can simply do a U-Turn back to Baghdad/Mosul.
500 USD ticket to Germany? Good price, but it does not worth the whole trouble, she can fly back from Baghdad.

Cursing in an ignorant, racist and condescending generalization and threatening to “deal with it” would not help. Visas’ refusals are rarely subjected to appeals anywhere in the world, even if you come to a place for the first time with a valid visa. Her case was not a case of lack of chemistry with the Immigration officer. It was worse: Entering without a valid visa (but with success) – but you can rarely have 2 exceptions successfully granted, and in such a short interval, if you are so much out of the rule: this time to exit without that valid visa.

Her 5 minutes fury and frustration lost my empathy when I saw her true thoughts about Kurdistan reaching the surface, with the video-editing time needed to cool down and correct it. It was not done.

The lady made her misconception public about Shingal: I work as a part-timer volunteer with a local NGO helping refugees in and from Shingal. On a daily basis, we never had any single problem to move people and goods, staff and beneficiaries, with the Kurdish side.
To complain that they restricted movements to and from Kurdistan? Welcome to the COVID-19 era.
Believe me, 6th time in Kurdistan, expatriates are fighting to come here, including diplomats, thanks to the safety and the clean, comely, kind, generous and pleasant attitude of the Kurdish administration.

Not only it is one of the safest political entities in the world, perfectly apt for assuming full sovereignty to its people as well as to the minorities it protects as a safe haven (yes, also from Shingal), but it goes out of its way and always in a VIP manner, to ease the administrative regularization of the expatriates, so shorten it, facilitate it, ease it and accelerate its good completion and accomplishment.
Especially in all what concerns immigration, visas, residencies – it is exemplary. Fine here is not an example of greed and capricious temper. It is an example of good governance, rigor, seriousness and drawing a red line on which there are no exceptions.
If there is a ‘need’ to bypass the rules and use a Wasta, with no exceptionally-justified or humanitarian reason, let this Wasta assume the same responsibility and facilitate her exit via Mosul for the same reasons.
A person committed to the humanitarian cause and knowledgeable of the context, cannot curse Kurdistan but only praise it. Its Administration, as witnessed, is always clean, efficient, no bribes – needless to say that in Kurdistan, but needed to say when you compare it to its neighbours.
Usually, the bribery phenomenon is crystallized around the very same places: Visas, Residency. I have hardly seen such clean places in the world as the Kurdistan’s Residency administration. It is a lighthouse for many Western countries, not only with no reason to be ashamed of, but with a lot of just pride.

It is easy to blame and not to take any responsibility. But US authorities and other Western countries are pickier on simpler, more benign and innocent matters than those ones. I urge her to take back her words and to apologize to the Kurdish people and their authorities, especially the Immigration and the Ministry of Interior. Otherwise and in other words, the shame should not be on Kurdistan, but on those who try to shame it wrongfully.

Eyal Reinich, Polish volunteer in Kurdistan

Kurdistan? You mean the same Kurds that killed hundreds of thousands Assyrians and Chaldeans, descendants of Babylon. They betrayed the people of Iraq by associating with Turkey in attacks on the northern region. Many men, women, and children are raped, murdered and displaced because of this betrayal.

please do better to label Iraq and Kurdistan separately. misleading and could get people in big trouble following the wrong advice

i’m planning to drive solo (asian male: us passport) from Babylon-Baghdad-Samarra-Mosul-Erbil. do you foresee any issues with this?

getting through the Samarra checkpoint can be very tricky
Mosul and getting into Erbil can present its challenges too, probably depending on their mood
difficult to say because it’s unpredictable

Thank you for telling us the true story on the ground. I am headed to Iraq in October and your review is a big reason why I felt comfortable booking the trip. Much appreciated.

Monty Cleworth

O my the guy on the far left looks like my brother could be his twin at the checkpoint photo.. If I knew he wasn’t at home in US I would jaw drop.. What’s also funny my father looked just like Saddam also. Think we may have a lot of middle eastern ancestry.. Great read and pics. As for the hateful speech people have spammed your story with one day they will realize we are really one people the human race. Maybe then we can have peace.
This article does not mention the kidnapping threat. If Iraq is so safe, how could a kidnapping be able to happen in a busy city like Baghdad?
“some groups have become so emboldened by the complete impunity for serious abuses, that they can kill anyone they want to without paying a price”
This does not sound like a safe country.

Um, where does this article say that Bagdad is safe? It says Kurdistan is safe which is far from Bagdad and which has its own immigration.

Did you read the article properly? “I traveled all over Iraq multiple times, from everywhere in the Kurdistan area to Mosul, Baghdad, Nasiriya, the Marshes, and everything in between.

In my experience, I personally believe that Iraq is a safe country to travel to”

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