Reflecting the new Iraqi Prime Minister’s criticism of the closed-off nature of recent governments, Iraq made a major move Monday, opening Baghdad’s Green Zone to public traffic for the first time in 15 years.
The Green Zone includes many main government buildings, and during the US occupation, the US military sealed the area off for security reasons. Despite this, the Green Zone was still repeatedly attacked during the era by various rebels.
Opening the Green Zone comes amid talk of moving the house of parliament and other offices outside of the Green Zone to give the public more access. This seems to eliminate the need for such moves, and offers the public increased access to the area.
The opening was timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of officials declaring the ISIS war in Iraq “over,” and while fighting against ISIS is still ongoing in the far west, this is another sign of Iraq looking to move beyond a constant war-time mentality.
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