Hours before the White House officially announced the president's visit to the Al-Asad Air Base, social media users were already tracking the Air Force One's movements and speculating on its destination.
Now comes word from Reuters that Iraqi leaders, lawmakers and citizens are angry over the fact that Trump visited their country. 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. "The Americans are in Iraq (unlike in Syria) on somewhat legal grounds as they support the local government's struggle against the militants", Kosachev said.
"We're no longer the suckers, folks", Trump told USA servicemen and women at al-Asad Airbase in western Iraq, about 100 miles or 60 kilometres west of Baghdad.
Fifteen years after the 2003 invasion, the U.S. still has more than 5000 troops in Iraq supporting the government as it continues the fight against remaining pockets of resistance by the Islamic State group. He said Ain al-Asad could be used for US air strikes inside Syria.
Despite the wide grins and supportive cheers from his audience, the trip comes at a time of growing turmoil for the president at home and overseas.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Abdul-Mahdi accepted Trump's invitation to the White House during their call, though the Prime Minister's office has so far refused to confirm that.
President Donald Trump's lightning Christmas visit with United States troops in Iraq has triggered questions and criticism in a country deeply divided over Washington's influence since the 2003 USA invasion.
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Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever". Any dream they had of greater autonomy inside Syria , or an independent state, is not going to be realized.
The President and First Lady were seen shaking hands with the soldiers, who were wearing full battle gear and night vision goggles.
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.
Despite his order for a withdrawal of US forces from Syria, the president made it clear that he is not abandoning the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
During his visit, Obama reiterated his intention to remove to all US troops from the country.
"If you had seen what we had to go through with the darkened plane, with all windows closed, with no lights on whatsoever anywhere".
Trump's decision to go to Iraq the day after Christmas is part of an attempt to change the narrative after being slammed for his reversal of Syrian policy and accusations that he made the decision without consulting the Pentagon or State Department.
"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 said again, recently, can we have more time?" Again, it was his first visit as commander in chief, though he had also visited Iraq in July 2008 as a USA senator while campaigning for president.