Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi announced on Wednesday, December 12, that the time span during which access to the Bagdad International Zone (IZ) is granted, was to be extended by three hours throughout the trial period, scheduled to last until December 23. Individuals are now authorized to access the International Zone through the 14th July Street, from 17:00 to 01:00 (local time). A heightened security presence is expected.
The International Zone was opened to the public on Monday, December 10. The access was initially opened from 17:00 to 22:00.
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.