President Trump makes surprise Christmas visit to troops in Iraq

President Trump makes surprise Christmas visit to troops in Iraq

President Trump makes surprise Christmas visit to troops in Iraq

On Wednesday, Trump made his first visit to a combat zone, meeting with troops in Iraq.

Trump told the troops that other people wanted their raise to be smaller, but he fought for a double-digit boost.

Trump made the 11-hour flight on a darkened Air Force One with lights off and window shades drawn plus military jet escorts.

The trip also comes after Trump announced that he was pulling US forces out of neighboring Syria.

The President and first lady quietly swept into Iraq on Wednesday to pay a holiday visit to USA troops - the first trip Trump has made to a war zone. We've knocked them silly.

Iraqi security forces have been conducting frequent raids and arresting alleged members and leaders of the Islamic State in recent months, underscoring how the fight against the militants has shifted from combat to intelligence operations.

Trump had previously faced criticism for not visiting troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The US has kept a sustained military presence in Iraq since the 2003 invasion launched by former President George W Bush.

Such trips are typically unannounced and the subject of extreme security. "We're respected again as a nation". President Trump himself tweeted out the video below. The Iraqi government now has control of all the country's cities, towns and villages after fighting its last urban battles against IS in December 2017.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was supposed to continue leading the Pentagon until late February, but Trump moved up his exit and announced that Patrick Shanahan, deputy defense secretary, would take the job on January 1. Trump said in the Twitter post.

"The United States can not continue to be the policeman of the world", Trump told reporters soon after he addressed American soldiers. We can make it 4 percent.' I said, 'No.

But after defeating IS militants in their last urban bastions past year, Iraqi politicians and militia leaders are speaking out against the continued presence of US forces in Iraqi soil.

Like presidents before him, Trump's visit was shrouded in secrecy. We've knocked them out. Trump defended the decision while addressing troops Wednesday, saying that ISIS has been defeated in Syria. But there are American troops spread throughout eastern Syria in the territory east of the Euphrates River, some of them at large logistical bases established to provide support to the American troops and the Kurdish allies. And we got you a big one.

He promised a "strong, deliberate and orderly withdrawal" of forces from Syria.

During his visit, Trump spoke by phone with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the Associated Press reports.

It took an vast amount of planning by a very small, trusted group around the President to make sure Bush would make it back to the United States safely.

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