Trump defends withdrawal of troops from Syria

An MSNBC panelist attacked President Donald Trump on Wednesday for visiting US soldiers stationed in Iraq just moments after news broke that the president made the surprise visit.

The president and first lady met with service members at the Al Asad Airbase in the outskirts of Baghdad.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis tendered his resignation last Thursday over Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria and draw down numbers in Afghanistan in addition to other differences.

President Donald Trump, who is visiting Iraq, says he has "no plans at all" to remove US troops from the country.

Left-wing Salon.com, for example, reported initially that Trump had failed to visit the troops during Christmastime, then changed its story and headline, but retained the anti-Trump spin.

The American-led invasion in 2003 toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, but for several years afterward USA troops engaged in extended fighting across the country, battling an insurgency and later sectarian violence.

President Trump himself tweeted out the video below. 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.

Trump landed at 7.16pm local time at Al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq, accompanied by his wife Melania, following what he described as a nerve-wracking, secrecy shrouded flight on a "pitch black" Air Force One.

You'll recall that last week, when making his announcement about withdrawing troops from Syria, Trump claimed that ISIS in Syria has been "defeated."

Trump First President Since 2002 Not to Visit Troops During Christmas
The Latest: Trump defends withdrawal of troops from Syria

Trump said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to take out "any remnants" of ISIL left in Syria.

The Kurdish-led YPG militia have been the mainstay of the USA proxy "Syrian Democratic Forces", who liberated much of northeastern Syria from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) but refused to hand it over to the government in Damascus.

Since U.S. forces returned to Iraq in 2014, the base has played an important role in the fight against Islamic State because of its location.

Trump has come under withering criticism from fellow Republicans, Democrats and global allies over his decision to pull out of Syria because he believed Islamic State militants have been defeated. The American president has repeatedly vowed to bring American troops back home from the region.

Bush made only four trips to Iraq after ordering his forces to invade the country in 2003. Pence met with Afghan leaders and visited with USA troops stationed in the country.

Mr Trump has said he would travel to Afghanistan at some point.

He left Washington amid vast turmoil in the U.S.

President Trump used the cover of the partial government shutdown to slip off to visit U.S. troops in Iraq.

  • Rogelio Becker