Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone has reopened to the public after 16 years.
Maj Gen Jassim Yahya Abd Ali said the area, which houses the US embassy and Iraqi government offices, was now open “24 hours a day without any exceptions or conditions”. He said authorities had removed 12,000 concrete walls from the area.
The zone, measuring 4 sq miles, has been off-limits to the public since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
Before the war, it was home to Saddam Hussein’s palaces. It became known as Little America after it was seized by US military forces, and in later years it became a hated symbol of the country’s inequality, fuelling perceptions among Iraqis that their government was out of touch.