Trump visits troops in Iraq

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visit troops in Iraq on Wednesday

During his first visit to a combat zone since assuming office almost two years ago, President Trump couldn't help but take personal credit for a very generous but fictional pay increase for USA troops.

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet military personnel at the dining facility during an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq December 26, 2018.

President Trump spoke to members of the media at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on Wednesday.

"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. IS has lost a significant amount of territory in Iraq and Syria but is still seen as a threat.

Trump's trip was shrouded in secrecy.

Bush made three more trips to Iraq while in office.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was supposed to continue leading the Pentagon until late February, but Trump moved up his exit and announced that Patrick Shanahan, deputy defense secretary, would take the job on January 1.

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This was the first time Trump has visited troops in an overseas war zone during his presidency. But in November, after facing criticism for canceled a visit to a military cemetery in France because of rain, Trump announced he would soon travel to a war zone.

Presenting himself as an ardent supporter of the military just days after the resignation of respected Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, who cited policy disagreements with the president in an astonishing resignation letter, Trump also repeated another common falsehood - his claim that the new Pentagon budget is the largest increase in defense funding ever. The Prime Minister's office said "differences in points of view over the arrangements" prevented a meeting between the two leaders.

Trump's video shows him with service members who appear to be part of Seal Team Five, whose faces are not covered or blurred, Newsweek reported.

Addressing troops at an air base in western Iraq late Wednesday, Trump defended his decision to pull forces from neighboring Syria, declaring of Islamic State militants: "We've knocked them out".

"In fact we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria", he said.

"We must end the page of the so-called global coalition, which controls the Iraqi airspace, under the pretext of tracking terrorist cells, which made the Iraqi aviation authorities do not know the entry of aircraft into our worldwide airspace and Iraqi air bases, that American soldiers located in some of them", Zamili said. He says that's a job that should be shouldered by other rich nations. He also said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to battle "any remnants of ISIS" in Syria, which shares a border with Turkey.

"We call on all the great Iraqi people to express their condemnation of the visit of the arrogant Trump and to demand lawmakers in the House of Representatives to issue a firm resolution to remove all foreign forces from the land of Iraq". He told The Associated Press in October that he didn't think such a visit was "overly necessary". "First time in 10 years", he said. After the combat mission ended in 2010, some troops remained behind to help stabilize the country.

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