Marine talks with a villager as he conducts a security patrol [Getty]

Iraq's Anbar province, west of Baghdad, has long been an al-Qaeda stronghold and a no-go area for the hundreds of thousands of US troops stationed in the country.

A controversial strategy has emerged which has pushed al-Qaeda out of the Sunni-dominated province. US troops are arming the tribes to tackle al-Qaeda.

It seems to be working as Anbar has lost its long-held reputation as Iraq's most dangerous province for US forces.

Will putting more arms in the country deepen the crisis further?

Why does the al-Maliki government object to this move?

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This episode of Inside Story aired on 28 June 2007

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