Donald Trump stops at Ramstein base in Germany after Iraq visit

Cheryl Sanders
December 27, 2018

US President Donald Trump has (figuratively) come under fire for his fashion sense while on a surprise visit to US troops based in Iraq. He and the first lady spent about 15 minutes there talking with the troops.

President Donald Trump visited USA military forces Wednesday in Iraq, making his first trip to troops stationed in a combat zone only days after announcing his intention to withdraw the United States from foreign wars in Syria and Afghanistan.

The previous day, the president paid a surprise visit to the Al-Asad Air Base west of Baghdad along with the first lady, Melania Trump.

United States defence secretary James Mattis was ousted from office two months early shortly after Mr Trump announced his decision to withdraw troops, claiming ISIS had been beaten.

Trump posted the video to his Twitter account from Air Force One after the plane left Iraqi air space.

The first indication that Trump was visiting with the troops overseas came Wednesday morning as aviation experts noted interesting activity about a mysterious US government plane.

"Most of the displaced are IS relatives", said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Observatory.

"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.

The Iraq trip will also go some way to ending criticism over Trump's failure to meet soldiers on the ground, even as he repeatedly touts his support for the military in campaign rallies.

Speaking to some of the 5,200 U.S. troops based in Iraq, the President said some U.S. soldiers can now "return home to their families" after he opted to remove troops from Syria.

If needed, the U.S. can attack ISIS "so fast and so hard" that they "won't know what the hell happened", Trump said.

Critics said the USA exit from Syria, the latest in Trump's increasingly isolationist-style foreign policy, would provide an opening for IS to regroup, give Iran a green light to expand its influence in the region and leave US -backed Kurdish forces vulnerable to attacks from Turkey.

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

"We are spread out all over the world".

Trump was wrong: According to the Department of Defense, active members of the military have received a pay increase every year since 1983. Pentagon chief Jim Mattis and the USA 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.

He also said the United States would stay in Iraq to prevent an ISIS resurgence and to keep an eye on Iran.

New Delhi, with billions of dollars in developmental investment, also banks on the US-led worldwide coalition forces for much of its reconstruction effort in the country, which started years ago on the watch of president George W Bush and continue through president Barack Obama's tenure to president Trump. "In any case we will take care to maintain the security of Israel and to defend ourselves in this area", Netanyahu said in an English language statement released by his office immediately following Trump's announcement on December 19.

Trump's visit wasn't about Iraq or the Middle East.

Other reports by iNewsToday