In the Christmas eve, Donald Trump along with his wife Melania gave a visit to Iraq for visiting the US troops. They thanked the US personnel present there saying, “their service, their success and their sacrifice.” Mr Trump said the US had no plans to pull out of Iraq. The trip came days after Defence Secretary Jim Mattis quit over divisions about strategy in the region. The US still has some 5,000 troops in Iraq to support the government in its fight against what remains of the Islamic State (IS) group.
However,a planned meeting between Mr. Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahidi was cancelled. Mr. Mahidi’s office said that it was because of the disagreements on how to conduct the meeting. A phone call was held between the two leaders and it was decided that Mr. Mahidi had agreed to visit Washington.
Mr Trump, his wife and National Security Adviser John Bolton travelled on Air Force One to al-Asad airbase, west of the capital Baghdad, to meet military personnel in the base’s restaurant. It was Trump’s first visit to the region. He said that the main reason for visiting the place was to thank the troops to being so attentive and defeating the IS and personally thanking them and adding, “Two years ago when I became president they were a very dominant group, today they’re not so dominant any more. Great job.”
Trump had a plan to spend Christmas in his private golf club in Florida but stayed back in Washington due to the partial government shutdown. The visit lasted for only three hours and Trump was given a standing ovation on the entry and was seen signing autographs and clicking selfies with the soldiers.