American troops have ceded to Iraqi soldiers a patrol base near the city of Samarra, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.

Patrol Base Razor had been used by soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, out of Fort Bragg, N.C. The Iraqi troops who now occupy the base belong to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army.

“[The Iraqi army] will use it to secure the bridge leading into Samarra and as a forward operating position to secure and patrol the [surrounding] towns,” Maj. Brian Flood, executive officer of the 505th, said in a news release.

The base was opened in early 2004, officials said.

Over the past two years, several bases have been handed from American to Iraqi control, mainly in the northern and central parts of the country.

U.S. plans call for a gradual shuttering of many of the smaller bases throughout the country, with larger “enduring” installations housing more troops.

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