U.S. Troops, Iraqis Will Watch President's Speech Closely

U.S. troops on the ground in Baghdad, as well as the Iraqi people, will be closely watching President Bush's speech tonight for details about an expected U.S. troop surge.

A surge would likely mean more large-scale military assaults similar to Tuesday's daylong firefight along the city's notoriously dangerous Haifa Street.

On Tuesday morning, 1,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops surrounded the area that locals call "Sniper Street," determined to root out Sunni insurgents and foreign al Qaeda fighters who had turned the area into a no-go zone for Iraqi security forces.

The United States sent in Apache attack helicopters and F-15 jets to back up a Stryker armored brigade on the ground. The fighting went on for most of the day. The troops moved from building to building, trading shots with an enemy that proved difficult to pin down.

U.S. Troops Feeling the Strain

U.S. troops, many of whom are on their second or third rotation in Iraq, are showing the strains of a long and uphill battle in Iraq.

Tuesday's show of force, however, appeared to be timed to reveal how determined the U.S. military is to make one final push to pacify Baghdad, where violence has soared to unprecedented levels.

Today, many neighborhoods in this city are living under virtual siege either from Sunni insurgents or Shiite militias that are targeting civilians in their struggle for power.

In the Dora neighborhood in southern Baghdad, which ABC News visited in August, reporters were once able to walk through the market. Today, locals are too scared to leave their homes. One family said it hadn't been to the market in months.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, dead bodies are found every day, often horribly tortured, victims of sectarian attacks that are tearing the city apart.

Bush's speech tonight will attempt to instill hope both in the American people who are getting weary of the war and in Iraqis, who are starting to despair that nothing can be done to stop their country from plunging into civil war.

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