US forces hand over Iraqi province

Babil, once wracked by sectarian violence, is 12th province to be handed over to Iraqi security control.

    'Security gains'

    Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser, said at the handover ceremony in Hilla that domestic security forces would soon take over the nearby province of Wasit from the US military.

    "I want to declare from Babil that Iraq will take over Wasit in the next few days and we hope to complete the transfer of the remaining provinces in the near future," al-Rubaie said.

    "Today the security forces of Babil are self-reliant and we are proud to take over Babil from US forces."

    The handover ceremony was attended by senior US officials, including Lieutenant-General Lloyd Austin, the number two commander of US forces in Iraq.

    With the transfer of the province, American forces will retreat to their bases and become involved in security operations only at the request of the provincial governor.

    Baghdad, Diyala, Salaheddin, Ninawa, Kirkuk and Wasit remain under US control.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.