Jan 4, (Agencies):  The US Embassy in Kuwait is aware of heightened security tensions in the region. Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy is increasing its security posture.

The Embassy will remain open during regular business hours for visa and American Citizen Services appointments, including passport issuances, a security alert issued by the Embassy stated. We are not aware of specific, credible threats against private US citizens in Kuwait at this time.

Nonetheless, this situation serves as a reminder that US citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance, and the Embassy advises US citizens to review their personal security plans and remain alert to their surroundings at all times. The following are common sense measures you and your family can take to increase your personal safety and security: Actions to Take:

■ Keep a low profile.
■ Be aware of your surroundings.
■ Carry proper identification, either your US passport with current Kuwait visa or your Kuwait Civil ID.
■ Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists
■ Review your personal security plans.
■ Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible. Assistance: US Embassy Kuwait, Kuwait City +965- 2259-1001; Kuwait ACS@state.gov; kw.usembassy.gov
■ State Department – Consular Affairs 888- 407-4747 or 202-501-4444
■ Kuwait Country Specific Information ❑ ❑ ❑ The US has updated its Iraq travel warning, two days after the Iraqi protesters’ attack on its embassy in Baghdad. “The Department continues to advise travelers to reconsider travel to Iraq. Do not travel to Iraq due to terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict,” reads the US State Department’s Travel Advisory update which was issued Thursday.

It warned that US citizens in Iraq are at high risk for violence and kidnapping. “Numerous terrorist and insurgent groups are active in Iraq and regularly attack both Iraqi security forces and civilians. Anti-US sectarian militias may also threaten US citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq,” it added. The State Department noted that attacks by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) occur in many areas of the country, including Baghdad.

On Dec 31, 2019, the US embassy in Baghdad suspended public consular services, until further notice, as a result of damage done by Iraqi protesters attacks on the embassy compound. US Consulate General Irbil remains open and continues to provide consular services.

On Oct 18, 2018, the Department of State ordered the suspension of operations at the US Consulate General in Basrah. That institution has not reopened.

The Foreign Office warned, Saturday, against traveling to Iran and Iraq after the killing of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a US military strike. According to the BBC, the office said that British citizens “Could be arbitrarily detained or arrested in Iran”. “The criminal justice process followed in such cases falls below international standards,” it added. On his part, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “Given heightened tensions in the region, the FCO now advise people not to travel to Iraq, with the exception of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and to consider carefully whether it’s essential to travel to Iran. We will keep this under review.”


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