Baghdad's Green Zone, a barometer of war and peace

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2009 file photo, Iraqi soldiers practice ahead of the Army Day parade at the  “Victory Arch”, in Baghdad's Green Zone, Iraq. Th

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2009 file photo, Iraqi soldiers practice ahead of the Army Day parade at the “Victory Arch”, in Baghdad's Green Zone, Iraq. Th

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2017 file photo, Iraqi riot police close a bridge leading to the heavily guarded Green Zone during a demonstration of follower

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2017 file photo, Iraqi riot police close a bridge leading to the heavily guarded Green Zone during a demonstration of follower

In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, Iraqi security forces remove concrete blast walls at the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. The Green Zone has been a b

In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, Iraqi security forces remove concrete blast walls at the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. The Green Zone has been a b

FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2018 file photo, Iraqi security forces stand guard as they check motorists entering the Green Zone, in Baghdad, Iraq. The Gree

FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2018 file photo, Iraqi security forces stand guard as they check motorists entering the Green Zone, in Baghdad, Iraq. The Gree

In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, the sun sets over the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, inside the Green Zone, in Baghdad, Iraq.  The 4-square mil

In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, the sun sets over the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, inside the Green Zone, in Baghdad, Iraq. The 4-square mil

In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, Iraqi security forces remove concrete blast walls at the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. The Green Zone has been a b

In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, Iraqi security forces remove concrete blast walls at the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. The Green Zone has been a b

FILE - In this March 31, 2016 file photo, followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr wave national flags as they end their sit-in outside the heavily

FILE - In this March 31, 2016 file photo, followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr wave national flags as they end their sit-in outside the heavily

In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, Iraqi traffic police officers stand at a busy intersection inside the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. The zone has b

In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, Iraqi traffic police officers stand at a busy intersection inside the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq. The zone has b

BAGHDAD (AP) — Baghdad's Green Zone has been a barometer for tension and conflict in Iraq for nearly two decades.

The 4-square mile (10-square kilometer) heavily guarded strip on the banks of the Tigris River was known as "Little America" following the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

It then became a hated symbol of the country's inequality, fueling the perception among Iraqis that their government is out of touch.

The sealed-off area, with its palm trees and monuments, is home to the gigantic U.S. Embassy in Iraq, one of the largest diplomatic missions in the world.

It has also been home to successive Iraqi governments and is off limits to most Iraqis.

Various Iraqi government promises to open the area to traffic have failed to materialize due to security concerns.