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thedrifter
01-26-09, 10:13 AM
IRAQ: Colonel: U.S. is winning but has not yet won

The Marines and sailors from the Camp Pendleton-based 5th Marine Regiment begin returning home this weekend after a year in Iraq's once-volatile Anbar province. Troops from Camp Lejeune, N.C., are replacing them.

A year ago, attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces in the western reaches of Anbar averaged about 16 a week. The Marines had more than 50 outposts.

Now the attacks are coming fewer than two a week and the Marines have but 10 outposts, with major bases at Fallouja and Ramadi being turned over to Iraqi forces.

"We have not won yet," said Col. Patrick Malay, the regiment's commanding officer. "But we are winning."

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Marine patrolling street in Anbar province. Credit: Tony Perry / Los Angeles Times

Ellie