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Kurdish Regional Government assumes control of security | United States Forces - Iraq

Written by Written by Tiraporn Olsen
Kurdish Regional Government assumes control of security | United States Forces - Iraq

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon (left), commander of Multi-National Division-North, and South Korean Maj. Gen. Yoon Young-Bum (right), commander of Multi-National Division-Northeast signs a memorandum of understanding with Nechiran Barzoni, prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government, in Irbil Wednesday, which officially returned control of security to the provincial government officials of the Dahuk, Irbil and Sulaymaniyah provinces in Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Lajaun Hickman, Combined Press Information  Center.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon (left), commander of Multi-National Division-North, and South Korean Maj. Gen. Yoon Young-Bum (right), commander of Multi-National Division-Northeast signs a memorandum of understanding with Nechiran Barzoni, prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government, in Irbil Wednesday, which officially returned control of security to the provincial government officials of the Dahuk, Irbil and Sulaymaniyah provinces in Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Lajaun Hickman, Combined Press Information Center.

IRBIL —The Kurdish Regional Government assumed control of security in three provinces from Coalition forces at a ceremony here Wednesday.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commander of Multi-National Division-North, and South Korean Maj. Gen. Yoon Young-Bum, commander of Multi-National Division-Northeast, signed a memorandum of understanding with Nechiran Barzoni, prime minister of the KRG, to return control of security to Dahuk, Irbil and Sulaymaniyah provinces in Iraq.

The Kurdish region has set the example for the rest of Iraq, said Mixon.

While each province is traditionally turned over one at a time from Coalition to Iraqi control, the KRG assumption of security in three provinces at once demonstrates regional unity in Iraq.

Coalition forces will resume their role in the region as support when needed.

“It is important to understand that Coalition forces will always be here to support the Government of Iraq,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Kurt A. Cichowski, deputy chief of staff, strategy, plans and assessment for MNF-I.

While Coalition forces support the KRG, they have also contributed $436 million during the war for reconstruction efforts in the area.

“Today’s event is symbolic because the people of these provinces have been taking the lead and demonstrating progress for quite some time,” said Mixon.

As Coalition forces train and advise Iraqi security forces to fight terrorism, provincial transfer of security is gained when four security criteria are met.  Set by the Joint Committee to Transfer Responsibility, the four criteria involve assessing threats, combat readiness of Iraqi Army and Police, governance capabilities and Multi-National Force-Iraq force posture.

Although security in 11 provinces currently remains to be transferred, improved security and reconstruction efforts in Iraq are expected to give provincial and national leaders an opportunity to regain control of their respective areas.

“This transfer of security to the Government of Iraq demonstrates another bold and courageous step forward in this country’s movement to an independent and secure nation,” said Mixon.

(U.S. Army story by Spc. Lajaun Hickman, Combined Press Information Center)

In other developments throughout Iraq:

Article Redistributed by Support Our TroopsRedistributed by www.SupportOurTroops.org