21 September 2006

Dhi Qar

Today, the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar was returned to Iraqi control. It marks the second such transfer in Iraq and represents another milestone passed on our way to victory.

“Today’s transfer of security responsibility in Dhi Qar province from the Multi National Force–Iraq (MNF-I) to the Government of Iraq and civilian controlled Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) is another sign of progress toward a stable and secure Iraq. Dhi Qar is the second of 18 Provinces to be transitioned. This is an important milestone along the successful path toward Iraq’s capability to govern and protect itself as a sovereign nation.

“The joint decision between the Iraqi Government and the MNF-I to transition security responsibility reflects a satisfactory assessment of the overall threat situation in Dhi Qar, and increased capabilities of the ISF. Additionally, Dhi Qar’s provincial leadership has demonstrated the ability to take the lead in managing its own security and governance duties at the provincial level. Transition terms are in place to facilitate the transfer process, and Coalition forces stand ready to provide assistance if needed.

“As Iraq develops and its needs continue to evolve, so too will the nature of international assistance and investment. The United States remains committed to the development of Dhi Qar province by providing funding for additional humanitarian relief and reconstruction projects. Currently, $8.9M in Economic Support Fund money and $5M in Commander’s Emergency Relief Program funds are programmed for the completion of additional projects in Dhi Qar. Several other provinces are close to meeting the criteria necessary to assume security independence.

“After decades of dictatorship and oppression, the Iraqi people have taken another step toward security self-reliance. With the steadfast support of the Coalition, Iraq is on a path to national unity, improved security, and increasing prosperity that benefits all its citizens.

“May God bless the people of Iraq.”
(from centcom.mil)
Two down, 16 to go.


Blogger The Griper said...

Got another question for you out of acknowleged ignorance, Bandit.

Since there are only 18 provinces in all Iraq and Kurdistan consists of what, 3 provinces in the north, this is my question.

I was under the impression that kurdistan was given autonimous status and basically responsible for their own defense. how do they fit in in regards to the handing over of provinces to the control of the central government? Or am I missing an important element here by some assumption?

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

The Griper,

Since Iraqi Kurdistan was covered by the northern no-fly zone it was more or less abandoned by the Saddam dictatorship. Once this happened, the people of Kurdistan banded together for mutual defense in the form of the Peshmerga which is on the border between militia and military. I say it's on the border because the elected civilian government in the Kurdish areas do direct their actions, but in a handshake sort of way. By and large, the peshmerga have a good relationship and reputation with both the people of Kurdistan and the Coalition.

A good analogy to the peshmerga would be the national guard of a state in America.

You're right that there are three provinces in which the majority are Kurdish (As Sulaymaniyah, Erbil, and Duhok,) and three others in which Kurds have a strong showing (Diyala, Kirkuk, and Ninawa). My best guess is that the first three regions will be among the next to transfer back to Federal Iraqi control.


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