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The Green Zone (Arabic: المنطقة الخضراء, al-minṭaqah al-ḫaḍrā’) is the most common name for the International Zone of Baghdad. It is a 10-square-kilometer (3.9 sq mi) area in the Karkh district of central Baghdad, Iraq, that was the governmental center of the Coalition Provisional Authority during the occupation of Iraq after the American-led 2003 invasion and remains the center of the international presence in the city. Its official name beginning under the Iraqi Interim Government is the International Zone, though Green Zone remains the most commonly used term. The contrasting Red Zone refers to parts of Baghdad immediately outside the perimeter, but was also loosely applied to all unsecured areas outside the off-site military posts. Both terms originated as military designations.
The Green Zone was a heavily fortified zone in the center of the Iraqi capital that served as the headquarters of successive Iraqi regimes. It was the administrative center for the Ba'ath Party. The area was not originally home to the villas of government officials though it was the location of a number of military bases, government ministries, and presidential palaces inhabited by Saddam Hussein and his family. The largest of these was the Republican Palace that was President Saddam Hussein's primary seat of power. The area is also known as Karradat Mariam so named for a locally famous woman who helped the poor people of Baghdad.
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