Baghdad’s fortified zone open for residents, traffic
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi security forces on Sunday morning removed major checkpoints leading to Baghdad’s highly fortified Green Zone in a bid to ease traffic in the capital.
Citizens are allowed to pass through the zone for 14 hours a day, starting at 5:00 am local time until 7:00 pm, Lieutenant Jassim Al-Zubaidi, an official from the Iraqi premier’s office, told Iraqi News Agency on Saturday.
Prime Minister Mohammad Shia’ Al-Sudani has ordered the reopening to the public, Al-Zubaidi said.
Known also as the International Zone, the 10-square-kilometers area is home to diplomatic missions in the country, including the US Embassy. The Iraqi parliament building as well as the President’s palace are located in the zone.
The government allowed residents to enter the area in 2019 for the first time. The roads were blocked and reopened several times after that.
Angry protestors, demanding employment and the end to corruption have stormed the zone several times during Iraq’s recent demonstrations. Followers of the Shiite firebrand cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr held a sit-in for weeks.