WASHINGTON, US President Donald Trump affirmed Wednesday that Iraq is a place that he has been “talking about for many years,” and that he wanted to visit and pay his respects “most importantly to great soldier, great troopers we have here.” In remarks to reporters in Iraq before meeting with military leaders during a surprise visit to US troops there, Trump said Iraq is “a place I have been talking about for many years, many many years,” and that “I was talking about it as a civilian.” He affirmed “I want to come and pay my respects most importantly to the great soldiers, great troopers we have here.” On the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, Trump defended his decision saying that “We’ve knocked them out. We’ve knocked them silly,” referring to the so-called Islamic State (IS).
He stressed “the United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world.” He added “it’s not fair when the burden is all on us, the United States.” “We don’t want to be taken advantage of any more by countries that use us and use our incredible military to protect them. They don’t pay for it, and they’re going to have to,” he stressed.
He noted “we are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven’t even heard about. Frankly, it’s ridiculous.” Meanwhile, Trump told the troops “We like to win Do we like to win?” and that if there is a terror attack in the U.S. there would be a harsh response from the US, saying “if anything should happen at all, nobody will ever have suffered the consequences they had suffered.” In a tweet, Trump said that he and the First Lady Melania Trump “were honored to visit our incredible troops at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq.” For her part, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a tweet “President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas.” According to pool reports, Trump departed Iraq and “there will be another scheduled stop” before heading back to the nation’s capital.
Source: Kuwait News Agency