Trump, visiting troops in Iraq, defends Syria pullout plan


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President Trump and first girl Melania Trump appeared in Iraq on Wednesday for a shock go to with troops and senior army management at Al Asad Air Base. There, he stated it is due to U.S. army positive factors in opposition to the Islamic State terror group that he can withdraw 2,000 forces from Syria.

“We’re not the suckers, of us,” Trump informed service members on the base, which is located in western Iraq. “We’re revered once more as a nation.”

Throughout his first go to to the troubled area, Trump additionally stated he has “no plans in any respect” to take away any of the 5,000 U.S. troops from that nation.

Trump’s go to — which can also be his first to a fight zone as commander in chief — comes on the heels of his announcement about pulling troops out of Syria, and the rumored removing of 1000’s of troops in Afghanistan.

President Trump and the primary girl throughout a hangar rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday. (AP Photograph/Andrew Harnik)

Trump stated the U.S. mission in Syria was to strip the Islamic State (ISIS) of its army strongholds — to not be a nation builder. He stated that is a job that ought to be shouldered by different wealthy nations — reiterating his America First insurance policies and an ideology that challenges America’s roles as world cop.

“I made it clear from the start that our mission in Syria was to strip ISIS of its army strongholds,” Trump informed troop Al Asad Air Base. west of Baghdad.

The president stated the U.S. presence in Syria was by no means to be “open-ended,” and that Turkey has agreed to get rid of ISIS remnants.

The first couple, greeting military personnel at the dining facility during an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The primary couple, greeting army personnel on the eating facility throughout an unannounced go to to Al Asad Air Base. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Trump made the 11-hour flight on a darkened Air Power One with lights off and window shades drawn, accompanied by a jet escort.

The president was joined on the air base by Nationwide Safety Adviser John Bolton for conferences with political and army leaders.

No different prime officers or members of Congress had been alongside.

The president spent round three hours on the bottom with the primary girl.

“President Trump and the First Woman traveled to Iraq late on Christmas evening to go to with our troops and Senior Navy management to thank them for his or her service, their success, and their sacrifice and to want them a Merry Christmas,” White Home Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted.

The president referred to as it “fairly unhappy” that after all of the U.S. has spent within the Center East, his journey nonetheless needed to be a shock for security’s sake.

Trump’s shock go to to the area got here every week after he declared ISIS had been “defeated” in Syria in a tweet and ordered all American diplomats and troopers overseas.

The U.S. first deployed troops to Syria in 2015 through the Obama administration as a part of a partnership with Kurdish-led forces in opposition to ISIS. A yr earlier than the deployment, U.S. airstrikes additionally started in Syria.

The president on his visit to Iraq, attired for the occasion. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The president on his go to to Iraq, attired for the event. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Outgoing Protection Secretary Jim Mattis, who didn’t journey with Trump and was working in his Pentagon workplace on Wednesday, signed orders on Sunday to tug all American troops out of Syria within the coming weeks, a senior protection official informed Fox Information. Pentagon officers on the time refused to debate specifics, together with the timeline, citing operational safety for the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria.

The president informed reporters touring with him that he needs to get U.S. troopers residence from Syria and that Iraq can nonetheless be used as a base to stage assaults on Islamic State militants if wanted, based on the Related Press.

Trump added that if wanted, the U.S. can assault ISIS “so quick and so laborious” that they “will not know what the hell occurred.”

“If we see one thing occurring with ISIS that we don’t like, we are able to hit them so quick and so laborious they actually gained’t know what the hell occurred,” Trump added concerning the militant group that he has stated is defeated, as Bloomberg Information reported. “We’ve knocked them foolish.”

“I believe lots of people are going to return round to my mind-set. It is time for us to start out utilizing our head,” he informed reporters.


Trump stated safety issues compelled him to scrap an earlier journey to go to U.S troops within the Center East.

Final month, Trump, who begins his third yr in workplace subsequent month, hinted he quickly would go to troops deployed in a conflict zone.

President Donald Trump visits with members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump visits with members of the army at a eating corridor at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photograph/Andrew Harnik)

In an unique interview on “Fox Information Sunday,” Trump was requested by host Chris Wallace why he hadn’t visited the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan within the two years he is served as commander in chief.

“Effectively, I believe you will notice that occur,” the president stated after Wallace famous that Obama and former President George W. Bush had every visited troopers in conflict zones. “There are issues which might be being deliberate. We don’t wish to discuss it due to — clearly due to safety causes and all the things else.”

The president beforehand drew criticism for his choice to not go to Arlington Nationwide Cemetery to mark Veterans Day, following his journey to Europe. He stated later he “ought to have” visited the cemetery however was too busy with official enterprise.

Fox Information’ Lucas Tomlinson and Gregg Re, and The Related Press, contributed to this report.

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