U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria could take several months

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

The performance was the latest in a long line of such trips, beginning with one staged by George W. Bush just a year after the USA launched its catastrophic and criminal war against Iraq.

Trump said there are no plans to withdraw the 5,200 American troops deployed to Iraq, which Pentagon officials have indicated will have the ability to launch attacks into Syria. "Earlier this year specific guidance notified federal employees that bringing MAGA hats to work or using the terms "#resist" or "resistance" in reference to President Trump could violate the Hatch Act.

"We'll be watching ISIS very closely", said Trump, who was joined by first lady Melania Trump, but no members of his Cabinet or lawmakers.

But after his lightning trip to Al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq on Wednesday, Trump tweeted a video of him posing for photos with U.S. troops, shaking their hands and signing mementos. "If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price-and sometimes that's also a monetary price-so we're not the suckers of the world".

Israel's Channel 10 news reported that Netanyahu tried in vain to persuade Trump to change his mind, and that there was tremendous "disappointment" in Jerusalem over the pullout, which is regarded as a victory for Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. The two major blocs in the Iraqi parliament both condemned the visit, likening it to a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

"They had plenty of people that came up, they said, 'You know, we could make it smaller".

By injecting a heavy dose of campaign-style rhetoric and partisan optics into this week's holiday visit with troops in Iraq - his first trip to a war zone since taking office - President Donald Trump has once again proved he has no problem blurring the lines between politics and his relationship with the United States military, according to military experts and a top Democratic lawmaker.

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"I said, 'No. Make it 10 percent".

Trump defended the decision while addressing troops Wednesday, saying that ISIS has been defeated in Syria.

After Air Force One left the country's airspace, Trump posted a video in which Lee Greenwood's "God Bless America" is heard as he and Melania Trump posed for pictures with the special-warfare operators clad in full battle gear and night-vision goggles.

During his three-plus hours on the ground, Trump did not meet with any Iraqi officials, but spoke on the phone with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. "But I said, 'We have to take care of our military'". He later began to signal that such a troop visit was in the offing. "It's been more than 10 years", he continued.

According to Kirby, Trump's actions during the trip to Iraq stem from his misguided understanding of the relationship between a commander in chief and the military.

"He conflates the obedience of the troops with political alignment and does not realize they are not political supporters of him, they are subordinates", he said.

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