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Trump makes surprise visit to USA troops in Iraq

27 December 2018

Trump said it's because of U.S. military gains that he can withdraw 2,000 forces from Syria.

Trump has also faced negative headlines for wanting to pull troops from Afghanistan where they have been since 2001. The paper reported that the daughters of a podiatrist in NY who is now dead said their father had given Trump a bone-spur diagnosis as a favor to Fred Trump, who owned the building where the doctor had his office. "We've been doing it long enough".

"It's time for us to start using our head", the president told reporters at the Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad where he and first lady Melania Trump spent a little more than three hours on the ground with USA troops.

He said that Turkey had agreed to fight against and get rid of any remaining pockets of IS in Syria. The US presence in Syria was not meant to be "open-ended", he said, adding that other wealthy nations should pay for rebuilding Syria. "We don't want to be taken advantage of any more by countries that use us and use our incredible military to protect them".

The decision to withdraw troops from Syria came despite objections from a number of politicians within his own party and Pentagon officials.

In a surprise decision that put his security team at odds and prompted Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to quit, the president ordered a complete withdrawal of 2,000 American troops from Syria and a substantial reduction of the 14,000 United States troops in Afghanistan.

Like presidents before him, Trump's visit was shrouded in secrecy.

The president was accompanied by First Lady Melania and the pair spent three hours on the ground with troops at the Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad.

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Ekim Alptekin , a Turkish businessman regarded as close to Erdoğan, was also charged in the indictment , the filing shows. Gulen has been blamed by the Turkish government for orchestrating a failed military coup against Erdrogan's government.

President Barack Obama visited Iraq in April 2009, the first year of his eight years in office.

The policy changes, defended by Trump as an exit from wars where the United States no longer needs to be expending lives and money, have sparked alarm among U.S. allies. IS has lost a significant amount of territory in Iraq and Syria but is still seen as a threat.

But almost two years into his presidency, Mr Trump had yet to visit any troops overseas, drawing criticism from various corners. I thought readers would find it of interest.

In June 2006, he met with then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and visited with troops.

The surprise trip to Al Asad Air Base near Baghdad comes as Trump faces controversy over his order last week to withdraw USA troops from Syria, the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a partial government shutdown, and turmoil in the stock market.

Trump left behind a slate of troubles in Washington, including a partial government shutdown and an unsteady economy.

Both men also traveled multiple times to Afghanistan.

There are dire implications in particular for neighboring Iraq.

Trump makes surprise visit to USA troops in Iraq