Weather Allegedly Delays US Handover of Anbar Province to Iraqi Forces Day After Suicide Attack in Region

The U.S. military has postponed a ceremony to hand over security of Anbar province to Iraqi forces.

High winds and possible sandstorms were cited as the reason for the delay. But the announcement also comes a day after a suicide attack in the province killed more than 20 people, including three U.S. Marines.

A U.S. statement said high winds and sandstorms will prevent U.S. and Iraqi officials from flying to the venue. No new ceremony has been scheduled yet.

The U.S. says the postponement was discussed before the latest attack.

Anbar was the main battleground in the Sunni-led insurgency until Sunni tribes there turned against al-Qaida in Iraq in 2006. The tribes now work with the U.S. military to prevent al-Qaida from returning to power in the province.