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On visit to Iraq, President Trump defends withdrawal from Syria

28 December 2018

"The decision to withdraw U.S. troops belongs to the will of the people and its parliament; the resistance will force the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq", the group's spokesman Jafar al-Hussaini told al-Mayadeen. Trump should not be allowed to arrive "as if Iraq is a state of the United States". Qais Khazali, a one-time detainee of the Americans who formed a Shi'ite militia and then became a political leader as well, said that Iraq's parliament should vote to remove United States forces from the country.

Trump has always been critical of the war in Afghanistan, which was born of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and has stretched on for more than 17 years, becoming America's longest war. After the speech he also took selfies with them.

In his interaction with reporters, Trump described how he gave "the generals" multiple six-month "extensions" to get out of Syria.

He voiced strong U.S. support to unite political factions in Iraq, including integrating minority Sunnis into the government. "You've had enough time", he said he told the top brass. We've knocked them out.

I had concerns for the institution of the presidency - not for myself, personally. And others will do it too.

"We are spread out all over the world", the president said.

Trump makes surprise visit to USA troops in Iraq
But almost two years into his presidency, Mr Trump had yet to visit any troops overseas , drawing criticism from various corners. Trump left behind a slate of troubles in Washington, including a partial government shutdown and an unsteady economy.

And it provides some distraction from a rising tide of domestic political problems, including the government shutdown caused by Trump's row with Congress over funding for a US-Mexico border wall.

USA troops are stationed in Iraq as part of the coalition against the Islamic State group.

In a bombshell resignation letter, General Mattis admitted he did not agree with the President's views, particulartly on his treatment of USA allies. Trump has said IS militants have been eradicated, but the latest estimate is that IS still holds about 60 square miles (100 square km) of territory in that region of Syria, although fighters also fled the area and are in hiding in other pockets of the country. On the one hand, he still wants to demonstrate the intention to abandon the role of global policeman with the subsequent mission where American blood is spilt for the sake of a country, about which a lot of them can't find on a map. And then he went on to apparently out some of them whose identities are supposed to be a closely guarded secret. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As soon as Trump touched down in Iraq yesterday afternoon, many people within the media as well as former army personnel, began questioning why Trump did not meet with Iraqi leadership while in Iraq. "Frankly, it's ridiculous", he added.

The US has an estimated 14,000 troops, or somewhat more, in Afghanistan, engaged in counter-terrorism operations and aiding and advising Afghan forces, essentially training the country's armed forces, a supremely tough task, sources said, of managing and overcoming ethnic affiliations. Before heading to Florida for Thanksgiving, Trump vowed he would visit troops, but did not specify a date or specific location.

On visit to Iraq, President Trump defends withdrawal from Syria