Province Becomes 13th Province To Transition To Iraqi Responsibility
The province of Wasit recently became the 13th province that has been returned to Iraqi responsibility for its security. The province joins the other 12, bringing the number to 13 provinces now that have their own security forces and responsibility. There are 18 provinces, and this means that only 5 provinces in Iraq still need to be turned back eventually to Iraqi control.
This has been a slow, long process, one filled with a lot of hard work both on the part of the coalition and on the part of the Iraq security forces. The local and national government of Iraq have worked hard to make sure that they are supportive and ready before each of the provinces have been returned to Iraqi security control.
These milestones have been a large issue to the partnerships between the coalition and the Iraqi Forces. At first, the members of the Iraqi military and the community were slow to believe that the coalition would ever voluntarily turn over the control to the Iraqi forces once again.
But slowly, as each of the 13 provinces have declared themselves ready, the responsibility for the security, safety and welfare has been given back to the Iraqi Government. In each case the coalition has remained on scene, but in a subordinate, backup role.