How about that Surge ! – U.S. military hands 13th province over to Iraqis
Just wanted to keep spreading the good news, and shudder to think what Iraq would be like today without the surge.
KUT, Iraq (AP) — The U.S. military on Wednesday handed over security responsibility for the southern province of Wasit to Iraqi authorities in a step that acknowledges the growing capability of the country’s fledgling security forces.
Wasit province is the 13th of Iraq’s 18 provinces to return to full government control. Iraqi authorities are now in charge of security throughout the country’s mostly Shiite south.
U.S. and Iraqi forces have been jointly seeking to shut down arms smuggling routes from Iran that use Wasit as a transit point before the weapons are taken elsewhere in Iraq. The weapons are thought to be going to Shiite militant groups.
U.S. forces will remain in the predominantly Shiite province to assist the Iraqis when needed.
Iraqi National Security Adviser Mouwaffak al-Rubaie lauded Wasit’s Iraqi security forces when he addressed the handover ceremony in the provincial capital, Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.