Outgoing General David Petraeus has handed over control of US military operations in Iraq at a ceremony in Baghdad. Petraeus is widely credited for security gains in Iraq after implementing a surge strategy backed by 30,000 extra US troops.
Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary was in the Iraqi capital to witness the transfer.
Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, who has been Petraeus’ second in command, will now oversee military operations in the country. Odierno said security gains in Iraq still remained fragile and caution was the order of the day. Petraeus will now head the US central command, taking overall control of operations in the Middle-East and Afghanistan.