March 30, 2004
Sgt. Ryan Holden, bottom right, relaxes poolside with other U.S. soldiers in Saddam Hussein's former presidential palace, located inside the Green Zone.
April 23, 2004
L. Paul Bremer, who famously dressed in a suit and combat boots, was appointed to lead the Coalition Provisional Authority. The CPA, operating out of the walled-off Green Zone, ran Iraq's government from April 2003 to June 2004.
Aug. 19, 2003
A U.S. soldier directs people away from the United Nations headquarters in the Green Zone after a massive explosion killed UN special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 others. The mission was attacked again a month later, after which the UN pulled almost all of its staffers out of Iraq.
Aug. 19, 2003
In 2003, a huge explosion rocked the United Nations headquarters at the Canal Hotel in the Green Zone, killing UN special representative for Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 others. Vieira de Mello was the leader of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, which had officially begun only five days earlier.
Rabih Moghrabi-AFP/Getty Images
Oct. 26, 2003
U.S. soldiers patrol after dozens of rockets were fired at the landmark Rashid Hotel, inside the Green Zone, where then-U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was staying during a tour of Iraq. One person was killed and 15 wounded in the attack.
Patrick Baz-AFP/Getty Images
Nov 4, 2003
A U.S. Army soldier stops a car outside the Green Zone in central Baghdad, after mortars were fired into the area. Responding to security threats, U.S. soldiers strictly monitored access to the Green Zone, to the frustration of Baghdad residents who's homes were inside the perimeter.
Nov. 11, 2003
Cement walls and barbed wire went up in Baghdad to protect the Green Zone, effectively dividing the city in two. As the rest of Baghdad descended into violence in the years that followed the U.S. invasion, the Green Zone became increasingly walled off and divorced from the reality that unfolded outside the cement walls erected around it.
Lucian Perkins-The Washington Post
March 7, 2004
A U.S. Blackhawk helicopter hovers over the former Presidential Palace of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, which later became the American embassy. Missiles were fired at the palace on the eve of the historic signing of the new Interim Iraqi Constitution.
July 14, 2004
U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police secure the site of a car-bomb explosion, near the main checkpoint for vehicles to enter the Iraqi government complex along the perimeter of the Green Zone.
Ahmad Al-rubaye-AFP/Getty Images
Aug. 13, 2004
Supporters of the anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr walk on a bridge across the Tigris river as they gather to participate in a demonstration outside the Green Zone.
Wathiq Khuzaie-Getty Images
Sept. 1, 2004
U.S. soldiers and private security personnel guard an entrance to the convention center inside the Green Zone where delegates to Iraq's new National Council met for the first time. One person was wounded after several mortars landed nearby.
Sept. 12, 2004
Iraqis celebrate around a burning U.S. armored vehicle, following heavy clashes in the center of Baghdad. Once Iraqi forces assumed more control over the area, U.S. Embassy employees were no longer allowed to leave the facility alone due to potential violence.
Aladin Abdel Naby-Reuters
Basketball courts and U.S. military vehicles surround Iraq's former Revolutionary Command Council building, in Baghdad's Green Zone, which got its name in the early days from the green, or unloaded status of weapons inside. Outside, in the red zone, weapons were always in red, or loaded status.
Dec. 4, 2004
Smoke billows into the air after a large explosion rocked Baghdad's Green Zone in 2004, a year in which the compound was a frequent target of attacks.
Jan. 29, 2005
Ahead of national elections on Jan. 30, 2005, U.S. Army soldiers set up a banner giving instructions how to react in case of an attack in the heavily guarded Green Zone. Iraqi troops were intensifying their deployment on Baghdad streets to quell violence.
June 19, 2005
Iraqi police and military walk through the blood-stained wreckage of a popular Baghdad kebab restaurant, just outside the main gate of the heavily fortified Green Zone, that was blown up by a suicide bomber.
Aug. 31, 2006
In 2006, cranes littered the Baghdad skyline as construction workers in the Green Zone began to build the U.S. embassy, which is now one of the biggest, most fortified diplomatic compounds in the world.
Daniel Berehulak-Getty Images
June 14, 2007
The streets just outside the Green Zone sit empty in 2007, when rocket attacks became a near-daily occurrence. Baghdad was under a total vehicle curfew in the aftermath of the June 13 Samarra mosque bombing.
Chris Hondros-Getty Images
Jan. 5, 2009
U.S. marines raise the American flag during the formal opening of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone. For the U.S., the embassy symbolized its transition from occupying power to ally of the sovereign Iraqi government.
Erik De Castro-Reuters
April 3, 2009
Iraqi workers remove part of a concrete security wall that surrounds the Green Zone in order to allow vehicles to access the area from an outside road. Security in Baghdad has improved dramatically since 2007.
April 21, 2009
An Iraqi military helicopter patrols the skies over the Green Zone, which has become one of the most recognizable symbols of the Iraq war.
Ali Al-saadi-AFP/Getty Images
June 24, 2009
In late June, 2009, U.S. Army soldiers from the 37th Engineer Company unpack a military vehicle at the Crossed Swords monument in the Green Zone. The Iraqi government declared a public holiday to mark the July 30 withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Baghdad and other cities, the first phase of a full withdrawal by the end of 2011.
June 24, 2009
An aerial view of the Green Zone includes the former Zuhur royal palace at Nusur Square, which was built during the reign of King Faisal II and became one of Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces at the end of the '90s.
The Green Zone, where the U.S. embassy and Iraqi Parliament are housed, grew up around the palace.
Ahmad Al-rubaye-AFP/Getty Images
June 30, 2009
Iraqi security forces march near the Monument of the Unknown Soldier during a parade in Baghdad's Green Zone. American soldiers no longer man the area's checkpoints. They are now controlled only by Iraqis, on orders from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Producer, Photo Editor Stephen Cook
Text Editor Liz Heron