Meeting with Iraqis, Trump criticizes Iran deal

Donald Trump to host Iraq PM Abadi at White House today

Donald Trump to host Iraq PM Abadi at White House today

President Donald Trump and his top officials have agreed to speed up U.S. support for the Iraqi government in its ongoing battle against the Islamic State (Daesh) terror group, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said.

The president was also critical of his predecessor, saying the US military should not have withdrawn from Iraq in 2011, and critiquing the Iranian nuclear deal.

US President Donald Trump (R) meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the Oval Office in the White House on March 20, 2017, in Washington, DC. "Committing troops is one thing, while fighting terrorism is another thing".

Earlier in the day, as the two men met, Trump told Abadi that he knew his forces were fighting hard.

Earlier, Trump said the operation against the Islamic State group in Mosul was "moving along" and he questioned whether the United States under Obama should have pulled U.S. combat troops out of the country. "It's a very tough job".

Government forces retook the east side of Mosul in January before setting their sights on the more densely populated west of the city, the last major urban centre ISIL holds in Iraq. I know there is a plan.

"We will figure something out".

"We should have kept the oil when we got out. I mean we have to get rid of ISIS", he added, using an alternate acronym for the IS group.

More than 5,000 United States military personnel are in Iraq, providing critical support in the war on ISIS.

President Donald Trump is telling a delegation from Iraq that "nobody" can figure out why President Barack Obama signed a nuclear agreement with Iran.

Later this week al-Abadi will be attending a 68-nation meeting to discuss the coalition against the Islamic State group.

In many ways, his visit comes at a high point for him after successfully appealing to Trump to remove Iraq from a list of countries included in a revamped travel ban.

Iraq was removed from the revised version of the order following intensive lobbying from Baghdad at the highest levels, a senior USA official told CNN.

Detractors argue the ban discriminated against Muslims in violation of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom.

Meanwhile, in January Trump said there would be no ISIS had the United States kept Iraq's oil following the USA invasion into the country. Previously Trump had supported the 2009 withdrawal, and he ran for office a year ago arguing that the United States should never have invaded Iraq in the first place.

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