Iraqi army to gradually withdraw from cities

Iraqi army forces have started to withdraw from camps and bases inside cities as part of a plan to hand over security responsibilities to the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Defence said Thursday (September 12th).

"We have already started handing over internal security responsibilities in some provinces, and have withdrawn the army to special camps," ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji said in a statement.

"Security responsibilities must be handed over to the Interior Ministry," he said, "because the army is not supposed to be operating inside cities, but at camps outside them."

"The army had stepped in to help because the ministry needed support, but we are now prepared to hand over security responsibilities to the local police in all provinces," he added.

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