Published: Fri, December 28, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Kristi Paul

Trump Angers Iraqi Leaders & Citizens as He Visits Troops on the Ground

Trump Angers Iraqi Leaders & Citizens as He Visits Troops on the Ground

After departing Iraq, Trump stopped over at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where he and First Lady Melania Trump shook hands and greeted some of the hundreds of troops gathered in a hangar.

Air Force One stopped at Ramstein Air Force Base in south-west Germany on his way back from Iraq, where he had visited U.S. troops in harm's way for the first time, two years into his presidency.

- No visit to PM?

Trump told reporters he had overruled generals asking to extend the Syria deployment, where about 2,000 USA forces joined by other foreign troops, assist local fighters battling the Islamic State group (IS). Iraqi leaders didn't even seem to know Trump was planning a visit, although Trump's team reportedly reached out to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's office, the Iraqi leader didn't want to come to Al-Asad air base and the personal meeting was cancelled.

The two leaders instead spoke over the phone, the statement added. He left without meeting any Iraqi officials.

"Parliament must clearly and urgently express its view about the ongoing American violations of Iraqi sovereignty", said MP Salam al-Shimiri, loyal to the populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

"The excuse made the initial infraction all the worse", said Haddad.


"We must end the page of the so-called worldwide coalition, which controls the Iraqi airspace, under the pretext of tracking terrorist cells, which made the Iraqi aviation authorities do not know the entry of aircraft into our global airspace and Iraqi air bases, that American soldiers located in some of them", Zamili said.

Iraq's political instability, irreconcilable Sunnis, and economic challenges all point to fertile ground for ISIS to re-emerge like a deadly cancer if the USA and Iraq don't take effective countermeasures.

"In fact we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria", he said.

"I think the visit will reassure those fearing that United States policy in Iraq will go the way of its policy in Syria", said Haddad.

Donald Trump and Melania Trump greeting USA troops in Iraq.

With the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis from the Pentagon next week and the president's surprise announcement of a troop withdrawal from Syria, the American people and leaders around the world remain uncertain of where we stand in the Middle East.

"Trump must be aware that Iraq's sovereignty came with blood, not the building of bases in this country of resistance and martyrs".


"Iraq is important because of its strategic location".

Another statement released overnight by Hakim al-Zamili, a political leader of the movement of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, called for an end the US-led coalition in Iraq and addressed how Iraq's airspace is now controlled by the coalition. "Our presence in Syria was not open-ended and was never meant to be permanent". If you look closely enough, you can see the fabric gather at her knees when she walks, as one Twitter user points out. Once he determines the path the USA should pursue in these combat zones, the president should speak to the American people in a broadcast address to explain where we go from here.

Those groups were angered by Trump's visit.

While visiting troops in Iraq, President Trump spent some time Wednesday signing his iconic "Make America Great Again" hats.

Mr Trump walked along a rope line at the U.S. base in German state Rhineland-Palatinate, shaking hands, posing for selfies, and autographing "Make America Great Again" hats for servicemen.

"Iraqis will respond with a parliamentary decision to oust your (US) military forces". Once at the base, the president treated everyone to a heaping serving of the usual bravado and lies, claiming he was right to withdraw from Syria because ISIS has "been knocked silly" (defeating them will still take years) and that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will finish mopping them up for us, without offering clear evidence he agreed to any such thing.

Hashemi said Trump's "disregard for his allies is straining the relationship between Abdel Mahdi and the Iraqi political forces".


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