Trump visits U.S. soldiers in Iraq
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 12/26/18, 03:49 pm
During a surprise visit to troops in Iraq, President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to pull U.S. forces from Syria. He said military gains against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria made possible the withdrawal of 2,000 troops.
“I made it clear from the beginning that our mission in Syria was to strip ISIS of its military strongholds,” Trump told troops clad in fatigues at al-Asad Airbase west of Baghdad. “Eight years ago, we went there for three months and we never left. Now, we’re doing it right, and we’re going to finish it off.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to continue battling “any remnants” of ISIS in Syria, Trump said.
The president made the unannounced trip from Washington, D.C., overnight. It was his first visit to U.S. troops in a conflict region. The United States has more than 5,000 troops in Iraq supporting the government as it continues the fight against remaining pockets of ISIS there.
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