A milestone in the War in Iraq took place at the New Year. The United States military turned over security responsibility to Iraqi security forces. It should be expected that we will be hearing more instances of the Iraqi security forces being the primary force in the region. With the number of insurgent attacks in Iraq declining during 2008 it is only natural that the Iraqi security forces will increase the number of areas in which it controls security.
See the full article below or here: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=52526
U.S. Turns Over Green Zone Security Responsibility to IraqBy Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
|WASHINGTON, Jan. 1, 2009 – The United States formally transferred the Republican Palace back to the Iraqi government today, a concrete symbol of the continuing improvement in the country. |
The transfer came about as the status of forces agreement between the United States and Iraq took effect.
The agreement replaces the United Nations mandate under which the coalition went into Iraq and has conducted operations there since. Under the agreement, Iraqi forces are now in the lead with U.S. forces in a supporting role or in overwatch.
Officials said that American troops are still on duty at some of the checkpoints in Green Zone, but they are there to train their Iraqi counterparts rather than with operational control.
“When you come up to a checkpoint, the Iraqis will check your identification. They will make the decision if you come in or go out, ” said Army Maj. Gen. Dave Perkins, U.S. spokesman in Iraq. As a colonel, Perkins led the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division that conducted the Thunder Run in April 2003 that first entered Baghdad.
"We will continue to be there to provide some technical capacity, to provide some mentoring, but you will see less and less American forces and more and more Iraqi forces – and they will have the majority of the responsibility for making those key decisions which determine the security of the capital,” Perkins said.
The American effort has shifted down the river to the embassy. The new embassy – the largest U.S. embassy in the world – is open for business. Officials at the embassy are working with the Iraqis in detailing how other portions of the SOFA agreement will play out.
Iraqi security forces have made tremendous gains over the past 18 months, officials in Baghdad said. The U.S. surge of five brigades into Iraq announced in January 2006 brought security and stability to the country. Behind this, the Iraqi army and police were able to develop and train. The agreement recognizes this progress and now Iraqi forces have primary responsibility for security in the country.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Iraqi Security Forces to take over "Green Zone"
Posted by Lee_Foster at 12:32 PM