From the Bandar Beacon, aka the Washington Post:
NAJAF, Iraq — The U.S. military pulled hundreds of troops out of the southern city of Najaf on Tuesday, transferring security duties to Iraqi forces and sticking to a schedule that the United States hopes will allow the withdrawal of tens of thousands of its forces by early spring.
The handover came as Marine F/A-18 jets bombed two bridges near the Syrian border, hitting infrastructure in an area where insurgents have maintained effective control despite off-and-on offensives by U.S. forces. Insurgents have used the bridges to move fighters and arms across the Euphrates River toward Baghdad and other cities, the U.S. military said.
In the same area, U.S. warplanes later destroyed a building that insurgents had used to fire upon American and Iraqi troops, a U.S. military statement said. At least two suspected foreign fighters were killed, the military said.
Suspected insurgents in the same western province, Anbar, kidnapped the son of the new governor in Ramadi, the provincial capital, officials said Tuesday. Insurgents kidnapped the previous Anbar governor in May; he was killed in a U.S. attack on the house where he was being held.
U.S. Marines have a force of about 5,000 to cover the province’s 24,000 square miles. American officers in Anbar say the Marines are too few to bring the province under control, but U.S. and Iraqi officials say the U.S. raids have helped disrupt the flow of bombs and recruits into the rest of Iraq…