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Mixed Progress in Iraq Amid New Offensives, Possible Anbar Handover

As President Bush visited Kuwait Friday, U.S. commanders claimed success in newly launched offensives in Iraq against al-Qaida targets. The news comes as the United States aims to transfer control of the once-restive Anbar province to Iraqis. Analysts look at the developments.

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    As President Bush heads to meetings with his top Iraq commanders, U.S. forces have launched two big offensives.

    South of Baghdad, American aircraft have been pounding suspected al-Qaida targets. North of the capital, in Diyala province, thousands of U.S. troops have taken on al-Qaida fighters.

    U.S. officers said today they are preparing to hand over command of Anbar province in the west — once among the most dangerous in Iraq — to Iraqis.

    Along with the offensive, 17 U.S. military deaths have already occurred this month, and there has been an increase in terrorist attacks since the beginning of the year in Baghdad and other cities.

    All this as the first snowfall in living memory blanketed Baghdad today, surprising residents and temporarily stealing attention from constant security worries.

    For an assessment of the military situation outside of snowy Baghdad, we go to Ralph Peters, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and the author of numerous books on warfare. His latest is "Never Quit the Fight."

    And Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, he was assistant secretary of defense during the Reagan administration.

    Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us.