Iraqi security forces gather at a checkpoint into the Green Zone in Baghdad, Dec. 10, 2018.
Iraqi security forces gather at a checkpoint into the Green Zone in Baghdad, Dec. 10, 2018.

BAGHDAD - Iraqi security officials say Baghdad's Green Zone area, the heavily fortified strip on the west bank of the Tigris River, is now open to the public around the clock.

Maj. Gen. Jassim Yahya Abd Ali tells The Associated Press that the area that houses the U.S. Embassy and Iraqi government offices is now open "twenty-four hours a day without any exceptions or conditions."
 
The area was closed to the public since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq to topple dictator Saddam Hussein. Earlier this year, the government began easing restrictions in the area. It said the Green Zone will be fully open to the public on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.
 
The move is meant to portray increased confidence in the country's overall security situation.

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