Security Report

Well, this is pretty bleak. Iraq Today, Baghdad’s independent, English-language newspaper, publishes a Security Bulletin that doesn’t paint an encouraging picture:

CMCC [Civil-Military Coordination Center] cites Adhamiyah, Rusafa, Thowra, al-Muthanna, Shaab, Hurriyah, Shuahla and the area around Saddam International airport as uncertain or hostile areas.
Carjacking is rife in the capital. Do not walk around the streets with bags or mobile/satellite phones.
The curfew in Baghdad begins at 11pm and ends at 4am.
Iraq’s highways are considered dangerous. Highway 10 between Baghdad and the Jordanian border is especially hazardous, particularly around the Ramadi area. Armed bandits operate this route, using fast cars to stop large convoys of vehicles. Highway 8, between Baghdad and Hillah is also considered a no go route by humanitarian organisations. Highway 1, between Baghdad and Qasim is also very dangerous.
Police are present on the streets of the capital but they are Out-gunned and outnumbered.

Jeeze. Good to know. Especially about Highway 10. I took that highway when I left Baghdad in late April, but didn’t have any problems. We ran it during the day, and there were a number of places where earthen embankments had been set up forcing the taxi to follow a tight “S” path verrrrrrry slowly — in other words, it would have been great for an ambush. Luckily, nothing happened. When J., my friend who left a week or so before me, took that route, however, he mentioned that his driver stopped to chat with a man on the side of the road wearing a black face mask and carrying an AK-47. Nice.