After Trump visit, Iraqi lawmakers demand US withdrawal
- Author: Rogelio Becker Dec 28, 2018,
Dec 28, 2018, 0:33
President Trump visited the troops in Iraq at Al Asad Air Base on Christmas.
"We can use this as a base if we wanted to do something in Syria", he said.
Iraqi lawmakers also took aim at Trump's visit, arguing it was a violation of their country's sovereignty.
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Maryland President Donald Trump once opined that it wasn't "overly necessary" for him to visit troops in danger zones overseas.
"It's time to get our young people out", Trump said.
"There was supposed to be a formal reception and a meeting between Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and the US President, but a variation of views to organize the meeting led it to be replaced by a telephone conversation on developments in the situation", the statement read.
"We're no longer the suckers, folks", Trump said at al-Asad Air Base, about 100 miles or 60 kilometers west of Baghdad.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Trump, who speaks often about his support for the US military, had faced criticism for not yet visiting USA troops stationed in harm's way as he comes up on his two-year mark in office.
"It's not fair when the burden is all on us", he said. One thing is certain, we have incredible people representing our Country - people that know how to win! "They don't pay for it and they're going to have to". But the President was insistent that the time had come for United States personnel to come home. "Frankly, it's ridiculous", he added.
"You haven't gotten one in more than 10 years - more than 10 years", he said Wednesday.
As first flagged by Newsweek, a tweet from the president on Wednesday from his visit to troops in Iraq where he posed with soldiers appears to have revealed classified information regarding SEAL Team Five.
Trump's visit comes at a time when his Middle East policy is in flux.
The formation of Iraq's government has stalled as well, amid intensifying discord between the Islah and Bina blocs.
"The American leadership was defeated in Iraq and wants to return again under any pretext, and this is what we will never allow", he said.
The President is seen shaking hands with members of the group, who were wearing full battle gear and special night vision goggles.
The raise for the military that was approved in Trump's first year in office was 2.4 percent, for 2018.
Foreign influence has become a hot-button issue in a year that saw supporters of populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr win the largest share of votes in May elections. But if you would have seen what we had to go through with the darkened plane with all windows closed with no lights on whatsoever, anywhere.
President Barack Obama visited Iraq in April 2009, the first year of his eight years in office. But Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on the flight back that the Iraqi leader had agreed to come.
Mieke Eoyang, Vice President of Third Way National Security, made the remarks moments after news broke that the president and first lady made the trip.
The president and his entourage then headed back to the US.