Good news from Iraq

The Associated Press reports:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – The Iraqi army’s 4th division took over operational control of central Salahuddin province on Monday from the U.S.-led coalition, the government said.

It was the second of Iraq’s 10 divisions to come under direct Iraqi control since Sept. 7, when coalition forces handed over control of Iraq’s armed forces command to the government. Despite the handover, nearly all the country’s troops remain under American control.

“Today, the operational responsibility was handed over to the Iraqi army’s 4th division in Salahuddin province. And by the end of next October, about one-third of the Iraqi security forces will be under Iraqi control,” said government spokesman Ali al-Dabagh.

He added that Iraqi forces will take over security responsibility for southern Dhi Qar province on Thursday, making it the second of Iraq’s 18 provinces to given over. British troops handed over control of southern Muthana province in July.

“The security dossier in Dhi Qar province will be handed over to the Iraqi security forces from the Italian forces,” he said.

This is excellent news. Don’t expect any media saturation on this news, however, because as we all know by now their main focus is bad news (seeming to follow the ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ unspoken, unwritten media motto). But our men and women in uniform, along with coalition forces – including Iraqi troops – are getting the job done.

Hats off to ’em.

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