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Iraq takes over security in second province
Cat : War Against Iraq
Date : 2006-09-22 11:21:14                      Reader : 384
Even the army is built by CIA in the South , and Mossad in the North. So the only guaranteed issue under US colonization is the spread of civil war.
We appeal urgent intervention of UN to take over with peace forces instead of colonizing forces.


Associated France Press (AFP) 22/9/2006

Iraq takes over security in second province


by Ahmed Faddam

NASIRIYAH, Iraq (AFP) - Iraq has taken control of security from Italian and Romanian troops in the largely Shiite southern province of Dhi Qar, paving the way for the coalition forces to head home.

The relatively peaceful province is the second of the violence-ravaged country's 18 provinces to be handed over to Iraqi control by US-led forces after the July transfer of power in Al-Muthanna province.

Around 1,860 Italian and 430 Romanian troops had been in charge of security in Dhi Qar, of which Nasiriyah is the capital.

"Today we received the security file for the province of Dhi Qar which follows the handover of Al-Muthanna," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said during the transfer ceremony on Thursday.

"We will continue to receive control of other provinces as we managed to get our country back from the hands of the Baath dictatorship," he said in a reference to the former regime of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The latest handover comes at a time when Iraq continues to shudder under a wave of rebel and sectarian violence.

A UN human rights report on Wednesday said that at least 6,599 civilians were killed in the months of July and August alone, most by gunshot wounds.

US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and the head of US-led forces General George Casey in a joint statement said the handover was "an important milestone along the successful path toward Iraq's capability to govern and protect itself as a sovereign nation."

"After decades of dictatorship and oppression, the Iraqi people have taken another step toward security self-reliance," the statement said.

But Maliki said tough challenges lay ahead.

"We still have to improve basic services," he said, adding: "There are those who work to support terorists. We tell them that those days are gone."

Maliki called upon the people of Iraq to join his national reconciliation programme launched in June in a bid to stem the Shiite-Sunni sectarian violence that has left thousands dead.

"The national reconciliation plan is our sole patriotic option. But there is no room for those who think of marginalising the role of others," he said.

With the handover, Dhi Qar governor Aziz Kadhim Alwan will enforce security with provincial police and can call for help from the central government, which remains in command of the army and national police in the province.

"We will continue the programme of peace as we say goodbye to the Italian troops," Alwan said. "I call upon the Iraqis to stay together given the sacrifices that they have made."

Dhi Qar, a province of about 1.5 million people, has been relatively peaceful compared with the main southern city of Basra, the Sunni-majority provinces north and west of Baghdad and Baghdad itself.

On Tuesday US Major General Kurt Cichowski said that all "conditions required for the handover were met."

Among the factors taken into consideration in approving the handover had been the threat level faced by the province, the progress made by its security forces, the governance of the province and its relations with coalition forces.

Several other provinces were also close to meeting the criteria necessary to assume security independence, coalition officials said Thursday.

Following the transfer of power, the Italian and Romanian troops in Dhi Qar are to return to bases and offer training to Iraqi forces, adopting what is called an "overwatch" position.

The current center-left government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi has decided to withdraw all of Italy's troops from Iraq by the end of the year.

"I have always refused withdrawal of Italian troops from Iraq till the mission is complete," said Italian Defence Minister Arturo Parisi during the ceremony.

"For achieving security you have lost a lot of souls and for helping you we also have lost a lot and suffered. Italian civilians and troops have fallen here during their mission."

"This day as we gather at this ceremony, the mission is accomplished," Parisi said. "We will leave Dhi Qar province with the troops, but not turn our back on Iraq."

The Italian contingent, which has numbered up to 3,000 troops, was deployed in June 2003 by the previous government of Silvio Berlusconi, a loyal ally of US President George W. Bush.

A total of 31 Italian soldiers have been killed in Iraq, most in bomb attacks.

As for the Romanian force, President Traian Basescu on Tuesday asked parliament to recall the nearly 200 soldiers from Iraq.

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