Posted by Wordsmith on 4 January, 2009 at 9:56 am. 1 comment.



RAISING THE FLAG – The Iraqi army, Iraqi National Police and U.S. soldiers watch the Iraqi national flag as it is raised above Joint Security Station Salamiyat, west of Baghdad, Jan. 1, 2009. The raising of the flag symbolizes the implementation of the new security agreement. The U.S. soldiers are with Company C, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, attached to 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, “Gimlets,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, “Warrior,” 25th Infantry Division. U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Christopher Smith

U.S. Turns Over Green Zone Security Responsibility to Iraq
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 1, 2009 – The United States formally transferred the Republican Palace back to the Iraqi government today, a concrete symbol of the continuing improvement in the country.

The transfer came about as the status of forces agreement between the United States and Iraq took effect.

The agreement replaces the United Nations mandate under which the coalition went into Iraq and has conducted operations there since. Under the agreement, Iraqi forces are now in the lead with U.S. forces in a supporting role or in overwatch.

Officials said that American troops are still on duty at some of the checkpoints in Green Zone, but they are there to train their Iraqi counterparts rather than with operational control.

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