The President of the United States took the skies in his private jet Air Force One which was spotted flying over Europe. Twitter users speculated about whether the presidential jet had the president aboard. A few hours later, Air Force One touched down in Iraq, and President Trump stepped out for a surprise visit to the U.S. troops in Iraq.
Trump is only the third U.S. President ever to visit the Middle Eastern country preceded only by President Obama and President Bush. The President told the American troops at the base where they landed, "We're no longer the suckers, folks. We're respected again as a nation."
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The President soon tweeted a video of himself and Melania standing in the center of a group of soldiers at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. His tweet included the phrase, "GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.!"
The visit was a surprise, and the President and First Lady were met with warm smiles as they took photos with the soldiers in the surprise Christmas visit. He told the troops, "I made it clear from the beginning that our mission in Syria was to strip ISIS of its military strongholds." He added, "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."
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Former President Barrack Obama visited Iraq in April of 2009 in the first year of his two terms in office. Obama told the U.S. troops as well as the Iraqi government that it was time to start withdrawing America's combat forces from the conflict. He also expressed his support on behalf of the U.S. for uniting the political factions of Iraq. Obama told hundreds of cheering soldiers that Iraqis "need to take responsibility for their own country."
Former President George W. Bush was the first U.S. President to visit Iraq in November of 2003. He flew under extreme secrecy and security to Baghdad where he spent Thanksgiving with U.S. troops. President Bush also thanked them for "defending the American people from danger." During his time in office, President Bush would visit Iraq three more times. Again in June 2006 when he met with then-Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki, again in September of 2007, and one final time in December of 2008.
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