In a surprise visit to Iraq, United States President Donald Trump while defending his decision of withdrawing from Syria said that America is no longer a ‘global policeman.’
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2018
Trump landed at 7:16 pm local time at Al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq, accompanied by his wife Melania, following what he described as a stressful, secrecy shrouded flight on a “pitch black” Air Force One.
The trip, shrouded in secrecy, came during a partial government shutdown and less than a week after Mr. Trump disrupted the military status quo and infuriated even some of his political allies by announcing plans to withdraw all troops from Syria and about half from Afghanistan. The president’s decision on Syria led to the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, New York Times reported.
Speaking to troops at Al Asad Air Base, Trump defended his move in Syria.
“We’re no longer the suckers, folks,” the president said, adding, “Our presence in Syria was not open-ended, and it was never intended to be permanent. Eight years ago, we went there for three months, and we never left.”
Trump, who visited the air base with his wife, Melania, said he had rejected requests from military commanders to remain in Syria for another six months.
“I said, ‘Nope. Nope.’ I said, ‘I gave you a lot of six months,’” the president said. “And now we’re doing it a different way.”