Nearly 200 people have died in an upsurge of violence since August 27.
But, in a speech to military veterans in Salt Lake City, U.S. President George W. Bush said that U.S. officials in Iraq do not believe that a civil war in the country has started.
"They report that only a small number of Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, while the overwhelming majority want peace and a normal life in a unified country," Bush said.
Meanwhile, Iraq is taking steps toward assuming control of military operations from U.S.-led coalition forces. Iraq wants to activate a joint military headquarters to command Iraq's navy, air force, and 10 army divisions, totaling 115,000 troops. An announcement is expected soon.
RFE/RL Iraq Report
SUBSCRIBE For weekly news and analysis on Iraq by e-mail, subscribe to "RFE/RL Iraq Report."