The U.S. general who commands coalition forces in Baghdad says Iraqi and foreign troops have crippled the insurgency in recent months, and that it can no longer mount long-term, intense operations in the city.
Speaking from Baghdad, Major General William Webster said there may still be spikes in operations by insurgent groups, but their overall capability in the city is down significantly.
"The ability of these insurgents to conduct sustained, high-intensity operations, as they did last year, we've mostly eliminated that," said General Webster.
"We attribute our success to having trained and experienced Iraqi security forces patrolling the streets, talking to the Iraqi people gathering greater intelligence," he added. "People are gaining more confidence in their security forces here in Baghdad, and they're providing them lots of information."
A man strapped with explosives blew himself up Sunday at an Iraqi military recruiting center in Baghdad, one of a series of suicide attacks that killed at least 48 people and ended a relative lull in violence in recent days.
A suicide car bomber sped up to American soldiers distributing candy to children and detonated his explosives Wednesday, killing up to 27 other people, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. One U.S. soldier and about a dozen children were among the dead.
Insurgents struck at U.S. and Iraqi security forces across Baghdad on Friday, using at least eight suicide car bombs to kill at least 22 people and wound scores more, officials said.
In unusually strong language, some visibly shaken lawmakers said the ministries of defence and interior had failed to end "terrorism" and even called for militias to take over.
Iraq has often experienced several suicide attacks a day since the government took power in April. But U.S. generals had said things were improving, with just six suicide car bombs countrywide last week, the fewest in nearly three months.
Then on Friday 11 suicide bombers struck U.S. and Iraqi military targets in Baghdad and on the highway to the south, killing more than 33 people and wounding more than 100.
The insurgents are toying with us. Every proclamation of progress is answered with violence.