President Trump and first lady Melania Trump appeared in Iraq on Wednesday for a surprise visit with troops and senior military leadership at Al Asad Air Base. There, he said it’s because of U.S. military gains against the Islamic State terror group that he can withdraw 2,000 forces from Syria.
“We’re no longer the suckers, folks,” Trump told service members at the base, which is situated in western Iraq. “We’re respected again as a nation.”
During his first visit to the troubled region, Trump also said he has “no plans at all” to remove any of the 5,000 U.S. troops from that country.
Trump’s visit — which is also his first to a combat zone as commander in chief — comes on the heels of his announcement about pulling troops out of Syria, and the rumored removal of thousands of troops in Afghanistan.