President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to US troops in Iraq on Wednesday - his first trip to a combat zone as Commander in Chief.
President Donald Trump became the first commander in chief since 2002 not to visit military personnel around Christmas time, NBC News is reporting.
Reuters reported last week that the Pentagon was considering using special operations teams to target Islamic State militants in Syria, based out of Iraq.
During his first visit to the troubled region, Trump also said he has "no plans at all" to remove any of the 5,000 USA troops from that country.
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It came as he faces strong pushback from some allies, including France, and from some of his own Republican party members on his decision to exit Syria and to slash troop numbers in Afghanistan.
Members of the military cheered as President Trump spoke at the rally. He went against the views of his top national security advisers in announcing the Syria withdrawal, a decision that risks creating a vacuum for extremists to thrive.
A complete withdrawal of USA troops from Syria would leave a sizeable US military presence in the region, including about 5,200 troops across the border in Iraq. The president publicly opposed former President George W. Bush's decision to send troops to invade Iraq in 2003 but appeared eager to visit to visit the troops. There, he said it's because of US military gains against the Islamic State terror group that he can withdraw 2,000 forces from Syria.
"If we see something happening with ISIS that we don't like, we can hit them so fast and so hard they really won't know what the hell happened", he said to White House reporters who traveled with him."We've knocked them out".
Turkey views the Kurdish-led force USA troops have relied on to roll back the Islamic State in Syria as enemies, and Pentagon officials worry Turkish forces will massacre the Kurds while failing to prevent a resurgence of ISIS.
The president spent around three hours on the ground with the first lady.
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These theories range from Trump visiting troops in Afghanistan after he has been roasted by the media for not doing so over the holidays, to speculation that he is meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Making his first visit to a troubled region, President Donald Trump says he was more concerned for the people accompanying him to Iraq than he was for himself.
The president has come under withering criticism from fellow Republicans, Democrats and global allies over his decision to pull out of Syria because he believed Islamic State militants have been defeated.
Trump has described the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan as a "complete waste" and vowed to bring home American troops. The government remains in a partial shutdown sparked by Trump refusing to sign a stop-gap spending bill over his demands for funding for his long-promised border wall.
He visited Afghanistan four times while in office.
Timmins Transit's schedules are changing for the holidays
On New Year's Eve , buses will run to a Saturday service with a gradual reduction from 6pm and no journeys running after 8pm. Parking meters will be free on Christmas Eve , Christmas Day , and on New Year's Day , but must be fed on New Year's Eve .