Trump flies to Iraq to visit troops for the first time

Donald Trump and his wife Melania spoke with troops in Iraq

Donald Trump and his wife Melania spoke with troops in Iraq

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet military personnel at the dining facility during an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq December 26, 2018.

While Trump announced a withdrawal from Syria and a large drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, he said on Wednesday that he had "no plans" for a drawdown in Iraq, where there are now 5,000 troops. The president spoke to troops and met with military leaders.

Early this morning and into the afternoon, an airplane appearing to be Air Force One was spotted over Yorkshire England, despite the fact that President Trump has no trips on his schedule for December 26.

When the president was asked in November on Fox News Sunday why he had not visited the troops overseas, he replied, "There are things that are being planned".

It comes days after Defence Secretary Jim Mattis quit over disagreements about strategy in the region.

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More than 5,000 American troops are deployed in Iraq - the lowest number since a USA -led coalition invaded the Middle Eastern country in 2003.

Trump has also wanted to end protracted US involvement in overseas conflicts, and to force allies to pay more for the costs that he says fall disproportionately on American taxpayers. "You never know what's going to happen", Trump joked during a Thanksgiving Day call with the troops in Afghanistan in November.

In addition, Trump has yet to visit an active combat zone.

"Well, I think you will see that happen", the president said after Wallace noted that Obama and former President George W. Bush had each visited soldiers in war zones. We don't want to talk about it because of - obviously because of security reasons and everything else.

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