Anbar’s power play

Anbar Gov. Qasim Abid talks about building whole new cities, taking on the insurgents who blew off his arm, and opposing Baghdad's plans to export natural gas from the province.
Anbar Gov. Qasim Abid (center) along with provincial government officials at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Anbar Judicial Complex in Ramadi, June 2009. (

RAMADI, IRAQ - Governor Qasim Abid presides over Anbar province, which comprises a third of Iraq’s territory though only one percent of the population. Beneath this vast expanse of arid land is said to rest much of Iraq's yet-to-be discovered oil and gas reserves.

Iraq’s sectarian and insurgent violence first took root in Anbar, transforming it into an incubator for half a decade of bloodshed. The province has seen a slight uptick in targeted attacks since August, much like the rest of Iraq, though at its lowest levels since 2003.

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