The transfer of Anbar province, marked a dramatic milestone in America's plan to eventually hand over all 18 provinces to Iraqi control so U.S. troops can go home.
The 25,000 American troops remaining in Anbar will focus on training Iraq's military and police forces and standing by to help if the Iraqis are in need of help with any surge in violence.
"This war is not quite over, but it's being won and primarily by the people of Anbar. Al-Qaida has not been entirely defeated in Anbar, but their end is near and they know it," Marine Maj. Gen. John Kelly, the senior U.S. commander in Anbar
President Bush hailed the handover as a major achievement, saying the once-violent province had been "transformed and reclaimed by the Iraqi people."
"Iraqi forces will now take the lead in security operations in Anbar, with American troops moving into an overwatch role," Bush said in a statement. "This achievement is a credit to the courage of our troops, the Iraqi security forces, and the brave tribes and other civilians from Anbar who worked alongside them."
Anbar became the 11th province to revert to Iraqi security control, but it is the most significant because it borders Baghdad.