, President Donald Trump speaks to members of the five branches of the military by video conference on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, in the Oval Office of the White House. The military members were stationed in Guam, Qatar, Alaska, and two groups in Bahrain. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
26 of December 2018 19:21:58
AL-ASAD AIRBASE, Iraq (AP) — President Donald Trump is making an unannounced visit to Iraq — his first visit with U.S. troops in a troubled region.
Trump landed at an airbase west of Baghdad after dark Wednesday, leaving behind a government shutdown and other upheaval at home. The trip also comes after Trump announced that he was pulling U.S. forces out of neighboring Syria.
Trump, who begins his third year in office next month, had faced criticism for not visiting U.S. troops stationed in harm's way. He told The Associated Press in October that he didn't think such a visit was "overly necessary."
He left Washington amid immense turmoil in the U.S.