BAQUBA, Iraq, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. military's handover of security to Iraqi forces in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, has resulted in near anarchy and a return of U.S. soldiers.
Six months ago, when a U.S. airstrike killed the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi in Baquba, U.S. commanders expected the region to stabilize, and security was transferred to Iraqi forces.
The majority of Iraq's forces are Shiites, while the province is 55 percent Sunni Muslim, 30 percent Shiite and 15 percent Kurdish.
Soon after the handover, U.S. drone aircraft recorded images of Shiite families being dragged from their homes and executed in the streets, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Last month, U.S. Army Col. David Sutherland, commander of the 3rd Brigade, scolded his Iraqi counterpart, Brig. Gen. Shakir Hulail Hussein Kaabi.
"Six weeks ago, the people of Diyala and Baqubah were disgusted with the disrespect and disregard the Iraqi army had shown them," Sutherland told Shakir through an Arabic interpreter. "We are soldiers, not barbarians."