Thursday April 29 2004
FALLUJA, Iraq-American military officials said today that a new Iraqi security force made up of former Iraqi soldiers and commanders will replace the American troops now in Falluja and assume responsibility for the city's security.
The new force, known as the Falluja Protection Army, will include as many as 1,000 Iraqi soldiers led by a former general from the army of Saddam Hussein, American military officials said...
Some Marine units were already beginning to pack up today in preparation for the withdrawal, news services reported.
The new Iraqi force represents an about-face for the American authorities, who disbanded the Iraqi army following the fall of Mr. Hussein. Last week, the top American administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, said Americans would begin reinstating many of the "honorable men" who served as senior officers in Mr. Hussein's army.
The developments came a day after United States forces launched new airstrikes against insurgents in Falluja.