Iraq dangers

This item appears on page 66 of the December 2011 issue.
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The United States ended its combat mission in Iraq on Aug. 31, 2010, and is scheduled to complete its withdrawal of military forces by Dec. 31, 2011.

While sectarian and terrorist violence in Iraq occurs at levels lower than those in previous years, it occurs often, particularly in the provinces of Baghdad, Ninewa, Salah ad Din, Anbar and Diyala. Civilian road travel within Iraq remains dangerous, and threat of attack on civilian aircraft still exists. US citizens remain at a high risk for kidnapping.

The security situation in Kurdistan, a semiautonomous region of Iraq, has been more stable relative to the rest of country in recent years. The area also has become a base for a Kurdish separatist group, primarily in northern Iraq and southern Turkey, seeking to create an independent state.

The Kongra-Gel terrorist group (KGK, formerly the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK) has escalated its terrorist attacks against Turkey. On Oct. 19, supported by artillery and air strikes, thousands of Turkish troops crossed into Iraq to fight members of the KGK, and Turkey is seeking support for its military action from the Iraq government.

Fighting between the KGK and Turkey earlier this year killed more than 190, with more than 40,000 killed since the insurgency began in 1984.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

The United States ended its combat mission in Iraq on Aug. 31, 2010, and is scheduled to complete its withdrawal of military forces by Dec. 31, 2011.

While sectarian and terrorist violence in Iraq occurs at levels lower than those in previous years, it occurs often, particularly in the provinces of Baghdad, Ninewa, Salah ad Din, Anbar and Diyala. Civilian road travel within Iraq remains dangerous, and threat of attack on civilian aircraft still exists. US citizens remain at a high risk for kidnapping.

The security situation in Kurdistan, a semiautonomous region of Iraq, has been more stable relative to the rest of country in recent years. The area also has become a base for a Kurdish separatist group, primarily in northern Iraq and southern Turkey, seeking to create an independent state.

The Kongra-Gel terrorist group (KGK, formerly the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK) has escalated its terrorist attacks against Turkey. On Oct. 19, supported by artillery and air strikes, thousands of Turkish troops crossed into Iraq to fight members of the KGK, and Turkey is seeking support for its military action from the Iraq government.

Fighting between the KGK and Turkey earlier this year killed more than 190, with more than 40,000 killed since the insurgency began in 1984.