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In a first, Trump makes surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

BAGHDAD – United States President Donald Trump made a surprise Christmas visit to U.S. troops in Iraq on Wednesday, his first trip to a conflict zone nearly two years into his presidency and days after announcing a pullout of American troops from neighboring Syria.

Accompanied by first lady Melania Trump and speaking at the Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad, Trump defended the withdrawal from Syria and said it was made possible by the defeat of ISIS militants.

“Our presence in Syria was not open ended and it was never intended to be permanent,” he told troops wearing camouflage fatigues in a hangar at the base. He said some troops “can now return home to their families.”

Trump spent a little more than three hours in Iraq. On his way home, he stopped for about an hour and a half at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where he shook hands and posed for pictures with some of the hundreds of troops lined up inside a hangar. After Ramstein, Trump headed back to Washington.

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