No pullout of Iraq, it can be base ‘to do something in Syria’ – Trump on first visit to troops
US President Donald Trump said he's not planning to take American troops out of Iraq as he made his first visit to an active combat zone. His surprise trip also sparked online frenzy after his plane had been noticed over Europe.
Speaking at Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad, Trump defended his decision to withdraw troops from Syria last week.
"I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. It's time for us to start using our head," the president said.
Also on rt.com Trump didn’t meet Iraqi leadership during surprise visit due to ‘disagreements’
In fact we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria
Trump, accompanied by wife Melania, traveled to meet troops deployed in a war zone for the first time since the beginning of his presidency. He had faced criticism before for being the first US president since 2002 not to visit the troops around Christmas.
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. pic.twitter.com/s2hntnRwpw— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 26, 2018
Last week, Trump announced the total withdrawal of US troops from Syria and a draw-down of half the force currently in Afghanistan, to shouts of protest from both Democrats and Republicans in Washington. The move prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis and even calls for a military coup among some of Trump’s critics.Also on rt.com Trump says ‘we have defeated ISIS’ as US starts withdrawal from Syria
Meanwhile, Turkey has been amassing troops on its border with Syria, leading the US foreign service establishment to lament a likely impending assault on Kurds. The Kurdish-led YPG militia have been the mainstay of the US 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.
Trump’s surprise trip to Iraq hasn't gone unnoticed, as reports of an Air Force One plane flying over Europe went viral on social media Wednesday.
The Boeing 747 usually used by Trump for Air Force One is currently moving towards Turkey. pic.twitter.com/TG5Ndzoyvn— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 26, 2018
Air Force One spotted over England just a few hours ago under different callsign, left Andrews at midnight. pic.twitter.com/7kRin3NYmQ— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) December 26, 2018
Theories of where he might have been going were blooming, fueled by the fact that the US leader was unusually silent on Twitter.
I feel like we have a right to know where Air Force One is going.— Heather on the Hill (@jitterbug212) December 26, 2018
He must be really Hungary.— SuzanneV (@SuzanneV99) December 26, 2018
It's Christmas, everyone has turkey at Christmas.— Almost Human (@caterwauler) December 26, 2018
I am guess PAYOFF time fro. ERDOGHAN...— David Kurt Naumann (@dyflid55) December 26, 2018
Or maybe selling them out to Turkey or Russia in exchange for refuge or Trump Tower deal.Previously even thinking it was silly but thanks to him he can actually do it.— Another Indian (@fb_pirater) December 26, 2018
He's going to Russia!— Jim (@jmad340) December 26, 2018
Maybe he’s defecting!— Amy Atchison-Fisher (@AmeliaAFisher) December 26, 2018
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