RAMADI, Iraq (AFP) - Iraqi and US forces were on alert on Sunday in the western Sunni province of Anbar ahead of the transfer of security in the desert region from the American military to Baghdad.
"Our forces are ready to take the security responsibility tomorrow (Monday)," Majid al-Assafi, the new police chief of Anbar, told AFP.
"They are controlling the situation. Our troops are on alert to avert any failure of the transfer," he said.
Anbar, once one of the most dangerous places in Iraq, will be the first predominantly Sunni Arab province to be transferred to the Iraqis by the US military. It will also be the 11th of Iraq's 18 provinces to be handed over.