For the visit, which was unscheduled, Melania broke first lady precedent by travelling to an active combat zone. Trump's defense secretary resigned last week after the Syria troop decision, writing in a departure letter the President deserved a military chief more aligned with his worldview.
Trump left behind a slate of troubles in Washington, including a partial government shutdown and an unsteady economy. With secrecy typical of such presidential visits, the president's plane flew into Iraq on Wednesday with lights out and shutters drawn, coming overnight from Washington.
The Defense Department has declined to offer details about the timing of the Syria withdrawal or whether the air campaign against the Islamic State in that country will continue apace. The Pentagon is alsosaid to be developing plans to withdraw up to half of the 14,000 American troops still serving in Afghanistan.
In late March, Trump said that the United States would "very soon" withdraw its troops from Syria, though the Trump administration later explained that it would be keeping forces in Syria until Daesh is defeated.
Still, worries about an Islamic State comeback are pervasive. The group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, hasn't been caught and is presumed to be alive.
"Operational security is the most important aspect of personnel deployments".
The group has still been able to mount low-level bombings and attacks, largely outside major cities.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi recently said Iraqi troops could deploy into Syria to protect Iraq from threats across its borders.
Left-wing Salon.com, for example, reported initially that Trump had failed to visit the troops during Christmastime, then changed its story and headline, but retained the anti-Trump spin.
In a statement, it said: "A disagremeent over how to conduct the meeting led to the meeting being replaced by a telephone conversation".
Mr. Trump spent three hours at a USA air base meeting with American troops on an unannounced visit Wednesday.
"Dealing with Iraq and its sovereignty in this way will harm the Iraqi-US relations, and the countries of the region and the world should know that a strong and sovereign Iraq is in the interests of security and stability in the region and the world".
"It's time to get our young people out", Trump said. Pence met with Afghan leaders and visited with US troops stationed in the country.
Thousands more returned four years later to battle ISIS.
I'm sure we'll be hearing about it if he said anything to question the existence of Santa Claus during his visit. It continues to experience sporadic bombings, kidnappings and assassinations, which most people attribute to IS.
The Pittsburgh Steelers , Baltimore Ravens , Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans are battling for two AFC playoff berths. The Houston Texans (9-4) have a fast track to the third seed and maybe the second seed if things break right for them.
Four men have been charged with affray after stowaways armed with iron tubes allegedly tried to take control of a cargo ship. Maritime navigational tracking sites showed the vessel circling around a position north east of Margate in Kent.
Among other health problems, she also broke two ribs in a fall in 2012 and had a stent implanted to open a blocked artery in 2014. She underwent surgery for colorectal cancer in 1999 and was treated for early stages of pancreatic cancer in 2009.
The detainee, Sarah McIver from Alberta, Canada , is under administrative detention by Chinese police due to working illegally. The US also expressed deep concern for the Chinese Government's detention of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig .
In August, the Air Force declared the second GPS III "AFL" and, in November, called GPS III SV02 up for a 2019 launch. The rocket blasted off from Space Launch Complex 4 at the air force base at 10:34 a.m.
Wine Rack stores and many local craft breweries will also have extended hours, although you should check ahead before you go. The Beer Store will be closed Christmas Day but will be open from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m. on Boxing Day .
But the extremists are largely confined to a remote desert enclave hundreds of miles (kilometres) to the southeast of Manbij. Russian president Vladimir Putin said in a news conference Thursday that he agreed with the U.S.'s decision.
On Christmas Eve, Trump tweeted he was alone in the White House as he waited for Democrats to cave and give him his wall. Opponents have also noted previous efforts to strengthen the border that have been cheaper than building a wall.
It is still to be seen how angry the U.S.'s European allies and other stakeholders are going to be with this decision. His decision was made public a mere few hours after he abruptly announced the US was withdrawing troops from Syria .
Leicester beat City to pull off second shock
Jürgen Klopp struck a similar note, noting his team's six-point lead over Spurs could be whittled down quickly. But we are not thinking about if we are able to overtake Liverpool or whatever, that is not the issue.
Oil prices rebound after Christmas Eve sell-off
WTI prices fell from $52.58 per barrel on December 13 to $42.53 per barrel earlier this week ahead of the Christmas holiday. USA crude was up 10 per cent to US$46.80 a barrel, while Brent rose 9.2 per cent to US$55.11 a barrel.
Qatar strongly condemns attack on Libyan foreign ministry
Two assailants detonated their suicide vests inside the ministry and the third was killed by ministry guards, Reuters reported. The three attackers were suspected to be Islamic State militants, the security source, who requested not to be named, said.
Ahead of his 69th birthday, Sharif sent to 7 years in jail
Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik announced the verdict in a short order, after reserving the decision last week. The accountability court had indicted Sharif for holding assets beyond his known sources of income in August 2017.
Cloudy & gloomy but mostly dry for Christmas
Right now, it looks like an inch or two of snow is expected across the Denver area Wednesday . High temperatures Friday will be in the upper 20s with strong, gusty northwest winds.
An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy dies in US custody on Christmas
The father and son were not identified, and the agency statement said it will release more details "as available and appropriate". CBP announced new notification procedures in response to Jakelin's death, which was not revealed until several days later.
Veteran draws millions in donations for Trump's border wall
He said he's mirroring this effort off of the $7.5 million donation that was forked over to fix the Washington Monument. The triple amputee and military veteran launched the campaign on December 16, setting an initial goal of $200 million.
Congress, White House talking, but no quick end to shutdown
Asked whether he's willing to increase the price tag as long as the money is not spent on a wall, Durbin responded: "Absolutely". Following the Saturday meeting, a Schumer spokesman said, "The Vice President came in for a discussion and made an offer".