Expats in Iraq preparing to flee escalating conflict

Published:  20 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, Travel Abroad
As the civil war in Iraq continues between the opposing Sunni and Shi’ite factions, British expats in the country are getting ready to leave in a hurry.

Following the end of the Iraq War, many thousands of British workers arrived in the war-torn country to help rebuild the devastation and are now caught in the crossfire between the two factions. Sunni Moslem fighters are backed by Syrian mercenaries, the government is backing the Shi’ite majority forces with its army, and both are locked in an ancient conflict going back centuries.

The rebel army has captured several major cities, and is now encamped just two hours by road from Baghdad. Britishers caught up in the conflict are urged to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Expats should give their exact whereabouts, their passport number, date of birth and full name, in order to be immediately contacted should an evacuation become necessary.

A spokesperson from the FCO said that Britons living or working in Fallujah and Ramadi districts in Anbar province and in Ninewah and Salah-ad-Din provinces should leave immediately for their own safety. He added that all but essential travel to the country should be avoided, exceptingof the Kurdistan region, which is still unaffected by the conflict

If travel to or through the affected regions is essential, a professional security company should be employed, and all necessary security precautions should be taken. Monitoring developments regularly, even when not in immediate danger, is essential, he said.
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