President Bush made an unannounced visit to Iraq on Labor Day and was greeted by Gen. David Petraeus, left, and Adm. William Fallon, right
BAGHDAD (CNN) - President Bush arrived Monday at a U.S. military base in Iraq's Anbar province on an unannounced visit, less than two weeks before his administration is scheduled to report to Congress on progress in Iraq.
Among those accompanying Bush Monday were Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
It is Bush's third visit to Iraq, and the first time he landed outside the Iraqi capital.
Bush chose to land at Al Asad Air Base in Anbar because the administration believes the Sunni province west of Baghdad is symbolic of what can be done elsewhere in Iraq.
Bush has repeatedly hailed the U.S. military's alliance with Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar as the reason that fighting against al Qaeda militants has lessened there.
White House advisers said Bush also came to Al Asad to gauge firsthand the challenges faced by the 7,000 Marines and 3,000 soldiers stationed at the base between Baghdad and the Syrian border, prior to the release of the White House's report on Iraq