American President Bush conceded Wednesday that the United States is taking heavy casualties in Iraq and said, "I know many Americans are not satisfied with the situation" there. "I'm not satisfied either," he said at a speech and question and answer session at the White House.
Despite conceding painful losses, Bush said victory was essential in Iraq as part of the broader war on terror. "We're winning and we will win, unless we leave before the job is done," he said, according to the AP.
Bush said that as those fighting American and Iraqi forces change their strategies, the United States is also adjusting its military tactics. "Americans have no intention of taking sides in a sectarian struggle or standing in the crossfire between rival factions," he said.
"We are making it clear that America's patience is not unlimited," Bush added. "We will not put more pressure on the Iraqi government than it can bear."
The president said the world expects Iran and Syria to help quell sectarian violence in Iraq, but he rejected the idea of working directly with Iran while Tehran pursues a nuclear program in defiance of the United Nations. "If they would verifiably stop their enrichment, the United States would be at the table with them," Bush said.