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Rudaw

Iraq

In surprise trip to Iraq, Trump says no plans to pull troops out

By Rudaw 26/12/2018
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet US soldiers at al-Asad airbase in Iraq on December 26, 2018. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet US soldiers at al-Asad airbase in Iraq on December 26, 2018. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – US President Donald Trump made his first trip to Iraq, spending a few hours with US troops at al-Asad airbase, west of Baghdad. 

First Lady Melania Trump accompanied him on the surprise trip. 

Trump said he has “no plans at all” to order a withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, similar to what he ordered for US troops in Syria last week. 

He had previously said that US forces could use Iraq as a staging ground for targeted forays across the border into Syria. 

There are some 5,000 US soldiers in Iraq, compared to about 2,000 on the ground in Syria. 

Trump spent about three and a half hours on the ground, visiting troops, meeting US officials, and taking a few questions from reporters. 

A scheduled meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi was cancelled. It is not immediately clear why. 

He defended his decision to withdraw from Syria, saying "The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world."  
  

 

Updated at 11:58 pm


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pre-Boomer Marine brat | 26/12/2018
Mending fences. He now realizes his bug-out from Syria was a mistake ... Trump is a "deal maker", and his greatest priority is making deals which STICK! ... That's difficult with elected governments, because the government might change within a year or two ... Trump realizes it's much easier with an authoritarian regime, which also wants things to remain unchanged ... I now realize, it's part of why he said he liked Erdogan, because he "does the right thing" ... (It's also why he was researching the possibilities of opening a resort/casino in Castro's Cuba during the late Nineties.)
Hittler | 26/12/2018
what that clown Trump does in IRAK with his inferior wife.
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 27/12/2018
In its post regarding the Trump Iraq visit, a major American Conservative web site just blew it's credibility ... It touted Trump's announcement of victory over ISIS ... Then it said that US troops were staying in Iraq "supporting the Iraqi government in its fight against lingering ISIS forces in the region." ... Conservatism in America is NOT what we had back in the days of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. Conservatism in America has turned loud-mouthed "populist".
Hena | 27/12/2018
I wounder how many new "Trump towers" in Turkey did Erdogan promise Trump before he decided to withdraw American troops? 2000 American troops is tiny in terms of US capacity and it wasn't costing the US a dime, Saudi Arabia was paying for the whole thing.
Tal | 27/12/2018
"He defended his decision to withdraw from Syria, saying "The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world." ... Listen to the lying monkey! what the f#ck are your troops doing in Iraq then??
Tags : Donald Trump
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