Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi's office announced that Baghdad International Zone (IZ), or "Green Zone," will be open to public access beginning Monday, December 10. Access will be limited to one lane along 14th of July Street (Arbataash Tamuz Street) to allow north-south access for five hours daily, from 17:00 to 22:00 (local time), for the first two weeks; access may be expanded following an evaluation of the situation. A heightened security presence is expected.
This is the first opening of the IZ to the public since 2003. The area contains most of the international delegations and high-profile government buildings.
Individuals in Baghdad are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity, report suspicious objects and behavior to police, and anticipate a heightened security presence in and around the IZ.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel