Monday, September 01, 2008

US Military Hands Control of Anbar to Iraqi Forces

The U.S. military Monday handed control of Iraq's Anbar province to Iraqi security forces.

U.S. forces will withdraw to bases and rejoin Iraqi operations in Anbar only at the request of the provincial governor.

Anbar is a Sunni-dominated province whose inhabitants turned against U.S. forces soon after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Anbar towns, such as Fallujah and Ramadi became insurgent strongholds, where militants waged fierce battles against U.S. troops.

Violence in Anbar began to subside in 2006 when Sunni tribes became weary of al-Qaida's brutality against the local population. The tribes formed councils and joined U.S.-led forces in fighting the group.

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