BAGHDAD, July 16 (UPI) -- U.S. officials announced Wednesday that security for the Qadisiyah Province has been handed over to Iraqi responsibility.
A joint statement by U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker and U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus said the decision was based on an assessment of the situation in Qadisiyah and the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces there.
"For the past two months, Iraqi Security Forces in Qadisiyah have been operating independently and demonstrated their readiness to assume responsibility for the provincial security. Today this responsibility is theirs," read the statement.
Qadisiyah is the 10th province to be handed over to Iraqi control. The first was Muthanna in July 2006, followed by Dhi Qar, An Najaf, Maysan, Irbil, Sulaymaniyah, Dahuk, Karbala and most recently Basrah. There are 18 provinces in Iraq.