U.S. president Donald Trump defends Syria pullout, expresses unhappiness with Afghan deployment

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive to speak to members of the US military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq

Trump, wife make secret visit to Iraq

'President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas, ' White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump take photos with members of the US military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018.

Trump spoke to members of all five USA military branches via a video conference call on Tuesday.

Shortly after Trump announced the Syrian withdrawal US Defence Secretary James Mattis resigned, and underlined his difference with Trump.

US President Donald Trump speaks to members of the US military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq
US President Donald Trump speaks to members of the US military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq

First Lady Melania Trump accompanied him on the surprise trip.

"America shouldn't be doing the fighting for every nation on earth, ' Trump told troops, adding that the USA wouldn't be helping to rebuild Syria".

Moreover, it is not clear that Syria and Russian Federation will accept that Turkish forces replace USA troops in Syria.

He said the U.S. could use Iraq as a regional launching pad to carry out operations against the ISIS and Syria.


Although Trump has previously addressed U.S. troops stationed overseas, including in Italy, Japan and South Korea, he has drawn criticism for not yet visiting those deployed to combat zones. I've been telling the generals, 'Let's go.

As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before.

Bina said Trump's visit "places many question marks on the nature of the United States military presence and its real objectives, and what these objectives could pose to the security of Iraq".

One of those critics was Mattis, who said in a candid resignation letter last week that his views did not align with the president's, particularly in regard to the treatment of United States allies. 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.


In his typically forcefully-worded resignation letter, Mattis appeared to chide Trump when he stressed his own "strongly held" views on "treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors". "If we see something happening with ISIS that we don't like, we can hit them so fast and so hard they really won't know what the hell happened", he said, adding that he has no plans to withdraw troops from Iraq. The strike destroyed the tunnel entrance and killed four IS fighters, according to the USA military in Baghdad.

A U.S. soldier walks on a newly installed position, near the tense front line between the US-backed Syrian Manbij Military Council and the Turkish-backed fighters, in Manbij, north Syria, April 4, 2018.

Obama visited Afghanistan four times as president, most recently in 2014, and made a trip to Iraq soon after his 2009 inauguration.

On Dec. 15, the USA -led coalition launched an airstrike in support of Iraqi troops who were chasing IS fighters toward a tunnel west of Mosul.


Pentagon chief Jim Mattis and the U.S. envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group quit shortly after Trump's announcement. "Yes I had a concern". Trump said, his voice rising over the troops' prolonged cheers.

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