U.S. Cautions Against Travel in Iraq

The U.S. embassy in Iraq has warned U.S. citizens against "all but essential travel to Iraq."

The embassy issued the travel warning Sunday, citing "ongoing security concerns in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence." The warning said the embassy is "extremely limited" in its ability to respond to situations that U.S. citizen might face in the Middle Eastern country.

The warning noted that Baghdad International Airport has been hit by mortar rounds and rockets.

The embassy said its ability to provide consular services to U.S. citizens throughout Iraq, including Baghdad, is "particularly limited" given the security environment.

It advised citizens to avoid areas near the Syrian, Turkish or Iranian borders, which it says are "especially dangerous and not always clearly defined."

The warning said U.S. citizens who choose to travel in Iraq should be aware that Iraqi authorities have arrested or detained U.S. citizens whose travel purpose was not readily apparent. It said people have been detained for taking photographs of buildings, monuments and other sites.

VOA News / Apr. 07, 2014 08:16 KST