JOINT STATEMENT, Sept. 1, 2008
By Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker and General David H. Petraeus on the Transfer of Security Responsibility for Anbar Province, Iraq.
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, 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.