Trump's trip to Iraq comes amid turmoil at home and overseas

28 December, 2018, 08:27 | Author: Regina Boyd
  • Donald Trump

President Trump spoke with Iraqi prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi before his visit, but they could not come to an agreement on a meeting, due to some sort of disagreement over where the meeting would take place.

The President and first lady quietly swept in to Iraq to pay a holiday visit to U.S. troops - the first trip Trump has made to a war zone.

But Trump stressed during his visit that he had no intention of pulling troops out of Iraq, which he said could be used as a future base "if we wanted to do something in Syria".

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday acknowledged he had security concerns about visiting Iraq, saying it was "pretty sad" that he needed such secrecy to see US troops.

"Dealing with Iraq and its sovereignty in this way will harm Iraqi-US relations", he said.

US troops have been fighting in Afghanistan for 17 years and in Iraq for 15 years, making these the longest wars in American history.

In a statement, it said: "A disagremeent over how to conduct the meeting led to the meeting being replaced by a telephone conversation".

But, later, aboard Air Force One, White House Press Secretary Sanders suggested that Trump was still planning a pitched fight.

Qais al-Khazali, the leader of the powerful Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, said on Twitter: "Iraqis will respond with a parliamentary decision to oust your [US] military forces".

Qais Khazali, the head of the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia that fought key battles against IS in north Iraq, promised on Twitter that Parliament would vote to expel US forces from Iraq, or the militias would force them out by "other means".

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"Having stated, during a surprise visit to Iraq that he meant to keep a military base in that country as an advanced springboard for actions in Syria, US President Donald Trump is trying to have it both ways". "We've knocked out about 99% of the caliphate (caliphate is the Islamic State's dream realm)", he had said.

Iraqi leaders declared an end to combat operations against IS a year ago but the country's political, military and economic situation remains uncertain.

"Melania appears to keep their torsos apart as they kiss, stretching her neck in to achieve face-closeness instead", she went on, claiming that this kissing style would be a norm for a greeting or farewell kiss between colleagues or friends, rather than spouses. "Frankly, it's ridiculous", he added.

Iraqi lawmakers were smarting after the USA president left three hours after he arrived without meeting any officials, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the occupation of Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. You've had enough time.

Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, an Iraqi Shia group, said that the presence of United States troops breached the sovereignty of Iraq.

While highlighting the military and financial roles he said Turkey and Saudi Arabia had agreed to play in Syria, Trump also told journalists that "we may go back and help", the AFP news agency reported.

Trump's visit to Iraq did not clarify his administration's position in the Middle East so much as underscore his apparently competing desires to both withdraw from the world and to project military power and strength.

"The continuation of the U.S. administration in dealing with the presence of its forces in Iraq in this way will push the Iraqis to use all means that ensure the removal of these forces and all foreign forces from Iraqi territory".

His militia is represented in Parliament by the Binaa bloc, a rival coalition to Mr al-Sadr's Islah. Sadr has long opposed the American presence in Iraq since the US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. He tweeted out the video after Air Force One departed Al Asad, to a destination yet unspecified.


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