|Transfer of Security Responsibility for Anbar Province|| || |
|Monday, 01 September 2008|
U.S. EMBASSY – BAGHDAD
Sept 01, 2008
Phone: (914) 360-6452
By Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker and General David H. Petraeus
The United States and Multi-National Force-Iraq welcome the transfer of security in Anbar Province to Iraqi responsibility as a positive step on the path to Iraq's self-reliance.
Anbar is the eleventh province to be transferred to Iraqi security responsibility. The first province transferred to Government of Iraqi security control was Muthanna in July 2006, followed by Dhi Qar, An Najaf, Maysan, Irbil, Sulaymaniyah, Dahuk, Dwaniyah, Karbala, and most recently Basrah in December 2007.
The transfer of security responsibility in Anbar is significant because it is geographically the largest province in Iraq and borders three countries.
Iraqi Security Forces in Anbar have been operating independently for the past two months. Working with local government and military officials, they have demonstrated their readiness to assume responsibility for the provincial security of Al Anbar. Today this responsibility is theirs.
The transition of responsibility for security in Anbar Province is an important step. The provincial and military leadership in Anbar will have to work cooperatively in order to attain the sustainable security necessary for long term economic prosperity. We will assist as requested. The United States and Multi-National Force-Iraq congratulate the Government of Iraq on this important milestone.
And here's a map of the Iraq provinces under local control, minus the newly transferred Anbar-
This means more than 70% of Iraq's land area is under local control by Iraqis. The US led coalition provides backup combat power, training for the army and police forces, intelligence assets, and the all important air power. But in these 11 provinces Iraqis are caring for their own. I know it's cliche to quote Pres Bush about the war, but he called this one. 'As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down'. It took longer than anyone expected, but the basic mission is still being accomplished according to the basic plan.