Trump is the third American president to visit Iraq

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President Trump and the First Lady make a surprise visit to troops in Iraq

28 December, 2018

Mattis announced his resignation last Thursday, a day after Trump made a decision to withdraw roughly 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, posting on Twitter that the United States had defeated the Daesh terrorist group in the Arab country.

Trump, who spent more than three hours along with First Lady Melania Trump at Al Asad Air Base near Baghdad, addressed several hundred servicemen and -women, boasting that he had delivered them "one of the biggest pay raises you've ever received".

Trump stopped in Germany on his way back to greet troops at a USA air base.

As president-elect, Trump was drawn to the brawn of the armed forces and stacked his first Cabinet with generals, many of whom have since left his administration.

Some of the troops even showed up prepared to meet Trump, as they brought their red "Make America Great Again" hats in hopes to have them signed by the president.

President Barack Obama visited Iraq in April 2009, the first year of his eight years in office. God Bless the U.S. plays over the video.

After making a holiday visit to United States troops in Iraq, Donald Trump posted a video on Twitter of himself posing with Navy Seals - revealing the special ops team's deployment in the country, which is typically kept secret.

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A meeting between Trump and Abdul-Mahdi scheduled to take place in Baghdad on Wednesday was canceled because of a "variation of views", Iraqi Prime Minister's media office said in a statement released Wednesday.

But during the trip, which had been shrouded in secrecy earlier Wednesday, the president apparently accidentally revealed classified information by showing the special-ops forces, Newsweek reported. "We'll be watching them very, very closely, the remnants of ISIS".

As the plane neared Iraq, all the lights went out inside Air Force One, and the window shades were lowered.

Trump defended his decision to pull forces from neighboring Syria, declaring of Islamic State militants: "We've knocked them out".

"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 said some troops "can now return home to their families". He told The Associated Press in October that he didn't think such a visit was "overly necessary".

Trump had planned to spend Christmas at his private club in Florida, but stayed behind in Washington due to the shutdown.

The U.S. military says it has about 5,200 troops in Iraq, focused on training and advising Iraqi troops to ensure that Islamic State does not re-emerge.

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