President Trump made an unexpected trip to Iraq Wednesday to thank troops and meet with senior military leadership.
The president was joined by first lady Melania Trump at Al Asad Air Base in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He told reporters it was a trip that was being planned for several weeks and one he wanted to make for a long time.
“Well, it’s a place that I’ve been talking about for many years. And many, many years, before it started, I was talking about it, as a civilian. And many of you know what my feelings were. And I wanted to come and see Iraq. I wanted to come and pay my respects, most importantly, to the great soldiers, the great troopers that we have here. Nobody better,” Trump said in remarks at a press briefing.
He also added that he wanted to witness operations overseas in person.
Pres. Trump then fielded questions about Afghanistan and the recent announcement to pull 2,000 troops from Syria, to which he answered that it wasn’t an overnight decision but one he had discussed with military generals roughly 18 months ago.
“I told the generals — about a year and a half ago, I said, “Let’s get out of Syria.” And they said, “Sir, can we have some more time?” I said, “Yep. You’ve got another six months. Let’s get out of Syria.” I’ve said it for a long time. And then — and other places, too, I was talking about. But let’s talk about Syria. I said, “Let’s get out of Syria. Let’s bring our young people home.” And they said, “Sir, could we have six more months?” I said, “Yep. You’ve got six more months. Let’s go.” And I gave them six months. Then I said, “Let’s get out.” And they said, “Sir, could we have six more months?” I said, “Yep. You’ve got six more months.”
And then they said again, recently, “Could we have more time?” I said, “Nope. You can’t have any more time. You’ve got enough time,” he said during the briefing.
The president then added that the United States cannot continue defending “wealthy countries” and it was time to bring home military personnel from Syria.
Pres. Trump was also expected to meet with service members at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.Read comments