The White House says Saddam Hussein has lost control of his country, but it is far too early to declare victory in Iraq. The official response to events in Iraq remains one of optimism mixed with caution.
White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer says there is no question Saddam Hussein has lost control of Iraq.
And yet, he warns that tough fighting lies ahead. He says, although the regime has lost power, the war is far from over.
"It is still a battlefield," he said. "While the central command and control elements of the regime have been collapsed, there remain pockets of loyalists who continue to fight and present harm for our armed forces."
Shortly after Mr. Fleischer spoke, President Bush left the White House to visit injured troops receiving treatment at two Washington area military hospitals. He planned to meet in private with more than 70 soldiers, sailors and marines wounded in Iraq.