President Bush says victory by the U-S-led coalition in Iraq is certain, but not yet complete.
The president says Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq is no more -- but that coalition forces still face "desperate and dangerous" enemies in parts of the country. He says the coalition will press on until these forces are destroyed or they surrender.
In remarks today (Tuesday) at the White House, Mr. Bush also said the coalition must start what he called the difficult work of helping the Iraqi people build a free and stable country.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says coalition forces, which quickly occupied Iraq's major cities, are now going back to smaller towns they bypassed and are dealing with any Iraqi forces that may remain.
In Baghdad today, U-S Marines searched for holdout Iraqi fighters at the Palestine Hotel -- the home base for most of the journalists covering the war in Iraq. The Marines were seen to be taking several Iraqis in custody. The Marines said intelligence reports had indicated the building was not entirely safe.
U-S soldiers conducted similar operations today in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, one day after taking control of the city north of Baghdad. Tikrit had been the last major Iraqi city outside coalition hands.
Meanwhile, the U-S Central Command says coalition forces are working to restore water and electricity in cities where it was knocked out during the fighting. A Central Command spokesman, Brigadier General Vincent Brooks, also says that all fires at Iraqi oil wells have been put out.
Defense officials say they are beginning to scale back military operations. Two aircraft carrier battle groups that have been in the Arabian Sea are going back to their bases, and the radar-evading stealth bombers (B-2's) have already returned to the United States.
General Stanley McChrystal of the Pentagon's Joint Staff says Iraqi forces are no longer mounting any "coherent defense" and that major combat operations are over. But he says there will be a need for combat power in Iraq for some time to maintain or establish a safe and secure environment.