The US Presidential couple landed with Air Force One at the Al Asad Air Force Base, west of Baghdad, on Wednesday. Joined by First Lady Melania Trump, an army of security agents and a group of journalists, President Trump stayed in the military base for three hours. The journey later took them to the military airbase in Ramstein, Germany where they posed for selfies with the troops.
The American troops in Iraq are training the Iraqi army, which is currently mainly involved in the fight against Islamic State. According to the US military, there are now about 5,200 American soldiers active in the country.
US First Lady Melania Trump may be disliked by the US mainstream media and fashion magazines who continue to refuse to put her on a cover, the troops both in Iraq and Germany loved her for joining President Trump on the First Couple’s Christmas visit to the troops.
She was highly demanded to join in pictures with the soldiers and thus becomes the first FLOTUS to visit a combat zone since 1969.
President Trump's unannounced Christmas visit to US troops in Iraq certainly succeeded as a morale-boosting exercise, judging from the standing ovation the president got and from the enormous response amongst his hardcore fans on social media.
Addressing the troops, President Trump thanked them for their service. He also told them that they would continue to play a vital role in the war against terrorists, including ISIS. His plan is that after the troops are withdrawn from Syria, any needed attacks against ISIS will come from them at Al Sad. Mr Trump also stressed that allies like Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia, should be playing a bigger role in Syria.
In his speech in Iraq, where he was greeted with a standing ovation by the military who chanted ‘USA, USA,’ Mr Trump congratulated the US Army for defeating Islamic State, stating: "Two years ago when I became president they were a very dominant group, today they're not so dominant anymore. Great job."
"We're no longer the suckers, folks," he said. "We're respected again as a nation."
Asked by the troops whether he had concerns about the visit, Mr Trump told reporters: "Absolutely. I had concerns for the institution of the presidency - not for myself, personally. I had concerns for the first lady, I will tell you."
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