The White House, Office of the Press Secretary
September 1, 2008
Iraqis Take Responsibility for Security in Anbar Province
Once Considered A Province Lost To Al Qaeda, Today Anbar Becomes The 11th Out Of 18 Provinces To Return To Provincial Iraqi Control
On September 1, 2008, Iraqi authorities took the lead in all security operations for Anbar province. From this day forward, the people of Anbar will be in charge of their own security. American troops will leave the major cities and return to bases where they will stand ready to assist their Iraqi counterparts if needed. This achievement in Anbar province is a credit to the courage of our troops and the many brave Iraqis who fought alongside our forces against Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda Has Suffered A Military And Ideological Defeat In Anbar
In the fall of 2006, Anbar was the most violent province in Iraq, and Al Qaeda threatened almost every major population center. As part of the surge, last year President Bush sent 4,000 additional Marines to Anbar to assist local citizens who had already begun to stand up to Al Qaeda. Today, Anbar has been transformed.
The Blows We Have Struck Against Al Qaeda In Anbar Have Implications Far Beyond Anbar's Borders
The success we see in Anbar is being replicated in other parts of Iraq – from Diyala Province, to Baghdad, to Basra, to Mosul. Iraqi forces from the Anbar province are now deploying in other regions of Iraq to help battle the terrorists and extremists.