Bush: Combat in Iraq Over
By Suzanne Freeman

Wednesday, April 30—President George W. Bush will announce the end of major combat in Iraq in a speech given aboard the U.S.S. Lincoln on Thursday night. His address will be broadcast nationally at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

Electronics Technician 2nd Class Richard Barber leaves the USS Abraham Lincoln with his wife in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Saturday.

"He will address the nation just as he did at the beginning of the conflict," said White House spokesman Air Fleischer. Bush will stop short of declaring victory, says Fleischer. "This is an important moment because—as the President will describe—the Iraqi people now have freedom, the threat to the United States has been removed."

But, the U.S. mission in Iraq is not completely accomplished. The search for weapons of mass destruction continues, while officials are working to restore security. Troops fired on protestors on two different occasions this week, killing several Iraqi citizens.

To help establish peace in Baghdad, some 4,000 troops will be added to the 12,000 already on duty in Iraq's capital city. A town hall meeting was held in Baghdad on Tuesday to discuss security concerns. More than 50 Iraqi city officials attended.

Major General Glenn Webster told Iraqis that coalition forces needed their help to keep the peace.

"We have found there are people in this country who don't want it to be secure, who don't want electricity on," Webster said. "We need your help to identify those threats."

The extra military personnel will patrol Baghdad's streets on foot and in vehicles. They will work with Iraqi volunteers to form a temporary security force.