The American University of Iraq at Sulaimani is located in the region of the country that is under the control of a Kurdish government, which has until recently been relatively free of the strife present in much of the rest of Iraq. In the last week, however, the forces of the ISIS group (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) have launched attacks in the Kurdish region, although not near the university. Dawn Dekle, president of the university, sent an email to the campus Saturday in which she noted that the campus has been safe, and that other Kurdish regions appear to be getting more stable in the wake of U.S. air attacks on ISIS forces. And she said that the university does not currently have plans to call off either summer or fall programs.
But she urged people to take extra precautions, and she noted that both the British and American governments have advised citizens against traveling to the area. "It is up to each individual employee to make a personal decision to continue teaching and working," she wrote. "Your safety is AUIS’s first priority." Dekle noted that more security steps will be announced shortly, and that the university does have an evacuation plan if it is needed in a "worst-case scenario."
A university spokeswoman said via email that no faculty members currently on campus have left and that only one who has been away has called off plans to return.
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