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More Security Turned Over to Iraqi's

As of May 30, seven of Iraq’s eighteen provinces have been turned over to Iraqi security. In the Kurdish north, as Gateway Pundit puts it, “The Peshmerga Women Steal the Show at Iraqi Handover Ceremonies.” (See a collection of photos here.)

ARBIL, Iraq (AFP) - In a blaze of pomp showcasing Kurdish military muscle, US forces handed over responsibility for security in Iraq's three northern provinces to the Kurdish regional government on Wednesday...Sulaimaniyah, Arbil and Dohuk provinces are ruled by the Kurdish Regional Government, which has its own executive and ministries and has been spared much of the unrest wracking the rest of Iraq."Today is another success in the process of rebuilding Iraq," Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said at a ceremony in his capital, Arbil.

The handover was followed by a parade of Kurdish soldiers, including an all-female martial arts display."This is the result of the experience of 16 years," he said referring to Iraqi Kurdistan's history of de facto independence since the 1991 Gulf War weakened Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's grip on the mountainous north.

Kurdish security officers, or peshmerga, stand next to a portrait of Mustafa Barazani, founder of the peshmerga, during a handover ceremony in the northern city of Arbil May 30, 2007. U.S. forces handed over security control of the three northern Kurdish provinces of Dohuk, Sulaimaniya and Arbil to Iraq on Wednesday.

REUTERS/Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Pool (IRAQ) Iraqi-American Haider Ajina reported this earlier this week:

Kurdistan in its three provinces of Arbil, Sulaimaniya and Dehuck covers 14673.4 sq mi of Iraqi territory and a population of 3.8 million Iraqis. This represents 3.4% of Iraq’s territory and 15.2% of the population. In the south the provinces of Maysan, Nejaf, Muthena & Dhi Qar are already under Iraqi provincial control. By the time the hand over of the Kurdish provinces is complete seven out of eighteen Iraqi provinces will be under provincial control. The provinces under full Iraqi control, after the Kurdish provinces are handed over, will be a total of 35.4% of Iraq’s territory and 29% of the population. All this has been achieved, in a country with little experience in democracy and the rule of law in its recent history and after 30 years of tyrannical rule, and only 4 short years since the liberation, and combating terrorists trying to destabilize an elected government.

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