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Anbar-provinsen var identisk med sunni-opprør og amerikanske tap. Mandag overdras ansvaret for provinsen til irakiske myndigheter. Det frigjør 24,000 US Marines og noen kan overføres til Afghanistan, hvor det drepes flere amerikanske soldater enn i Irak.

A ceremony marking the Anbar turnover is expected to be held Monday, several U.S. and Iraqi officials said. Each spoke on condition of anonymity because the Iraqi government has not yet announced it. Anbar would be the 10th of Iraq’s 18 provinces to be returned to Iraqi government control, a step toward phasing out the American combat role as Iraqi security forces grow more competent.

The developments in Anbar have additional resonance because the province once was synonymous with the worst violence and lawlessness unleashed in Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

«There aren’t a whole heck of a lot of bad guys there left to fight,» Gen. James T. Conway, the top Marine Corps general, said Wednesday.

Fewer Marines needed in Iraq’s western province

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