The new US military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, says the stakes in Iraq are high, but the situation is not hopeless.
General Petraeus officially took command of his new post in a ceremony on Saturday at a US.base (Camp Victory) near Baghdad. He succeeds General George Casey.
General Petraeus said he thinks prospects for success are good. He warned failure would - in his words- "doom" Iraq to "continued violence and civil strife."
In a letter to troops on Saturday, the four-star general stressed the importance of working, in his words, "shoulder to shoulder with our Iraqi comrades" to bolster security.
General Petraeus will oversee President Bush's controversial plan to send an additional 21-thousand-500 troops to Iraq.
Meanwhile, in Shi'ite areas of Baghdad on Saturday, at least eight civilians died in two separate attacks by suspected Sunni insurgents.
Police say gunmen attacked a house in the southern Baghdad area of Musayyib, killing three members of a family and wounding two others. In the central part of the capital, a car bomb killed at least five people and wounded 10 others in the neighborhood of Karradah.