Iraq reopens Baghdad’s Green Zone to ease traffic jams


BAGHDAD – Iraqi authorities reopened Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Sunday in an attempt to ease traffic congestion in the capital after it was closed and reopened several times in recent years. .

Beginning in the early hours of the day, Iraqi authorities removed checkpoints and opened major roads and tunnels that cut through the area on the west bank of the Tigris River. Officials said cars would be allowed through the area while trucks would be banned.

The Green Zone, home to the vast Iraqi government buildings and US Embassy, ​​will be open daily for 14 hours starting at 5 a.m., Major General Jassim Yahya told The Associated Press. During that time, Yahya said, “all of the Green Zones will be open to the public.”

The 4-square-mile (10 sq km) site with palm trees and monuments has been largely closed to the public since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq that toppled President Saddam Hussein. It first opened in 2019, then closed and reopened several times since.

Traffic police Brig said: “The Green Zone has been opened to make it easier for people to get to work on time. General Muhammad Mahmoud. He added that the opening of the area was ordered by Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.

Previously, only Iraqis with special security badges were allowed to enter the area.

The walled area surrounded by explosive cement walls has become a hateful symbol of the country’s inequality, making Iraqis aware that their government is out of touch.

“We have been waiting a long time for the Green Zone to fully open,” said Usama Hassan, a Baghdad resident who works at Baghdad University. “This will make our lives easier.”


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