U.S President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on Christmas day paid a surprise visit to U.S troops stationed at Iraq. Visiting the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq, he thanked the troops for their service and their sacrifice to the nation. Addressing the media, he also defended his recent controversial decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria saying the U.S is no longer the ‘police to the world’. However, the some 5,000 U.S soldiers in Iraq will remain in Iraq, and the U.S has no intention to remove them from Iraq immediately. “In fact, we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria”, he added.
This is President Trump’s first trip to a conflict zone nearly two years into his presidency. The couple spent three hours in the air base and flew to Germany to meet some of the U.S. soldiers there.
Trump was also supposed to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi but in the end they only spoke by telephone.
Abdul Mahdi’s office said there was “a disagreement over how to conduct the meeting.” Iraqi lawmakers said the prime minister declined Trump’s request to meet him at the military base.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the meeting could not be arranged due to security concerns and the short notice of the trip, but she said they had a “great call” and that Abdul Mahdi accepted Trump’s invitation to the White House in the New Year.