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Cheap flights to Iraq

Cheap flights to Iraq

Iraq's recent history has been troubled to say the least. Years of sanctions and dictatorship followed by the US-led invasion in 2003 and then the takeover of much of the country by terrorist group ISIS in recent years has kept Iraq firmly off the tourist route. While the situation is improving in parts of the country, as of 2017 security remains volatile and certain cities and regions remain war zones. Unless you have a good reason, you should not consider going to Iraq at this time.

What to do in Iraq

Part of what makes the situation in Iraq so tragic is that it is home to some of the world's great cultural wonders. The banks of the Tigris and Euphrates gave birth to some of the world's earliest and most important civilizations. The remains of those civilizations, while damaged in recent conflicts, are still awe inspiring and a good reminder that Iraq's past goes back thousands of years. Archaeological sites like Babylon, Ur, Ashur, Hatra, and Ctesiphon are some of the most important in the world and their continued existence is vital for helping us understand early recorded human history. The southern part of Iraq is also home to some of the most important sites for Shia Muslims, including the two grand mosques of Karbala and the Great Mosque of Samarra.

Airports in Iraq

If you absolutely must go to Iraq, the country's main airport is in Baghdad, which has connections to cities across the Middle East and a few to Europe and Asia as well. Major airports are also located at Basra and Najaf. Mosul has a significant airport but the city has been the scene of intense fighting recently. If visiting the relatively safer Kurdish region of Northern Iraq then you will likely land at Erbil International Airport, which has flights to Europe and the Middle East. There are no direct flights from North America to Iraq.

Tips and Advisories

The Canadian government advises against all travel to Iraq. While parts of Iraqi Kurdistan in the north have been spared the worst of the violence and are relatively safe, even there the situation remains volatile. Kirkuk and Mosul, both Kurdish cities that were formerly considered "safe" have recently been the scenes of intense fighting against ISIS militants. The central part of the country around Baghdad is extremely dangerous and westerners remain a target of kidnappings. The south is only marginally safer but even there sectarian and political violence occurs. Until security in the country improves, you should not consider visiting Iraq.

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