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Trump Defends Syria Exit on First Visit to Troops in Combat Zone

  • President faced criticism for not visiting soldiers sooner
  • Trump warns Islamic State that U.S. can hit fast and hard
Bloomberg business news
Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli reports on President Trump’s surprise trip to Iraq.Source: Bloomberg)
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Donald Trump delivered a speech to U.S. soldiers in Iraq on Wednesday, making his first visit to troops in a combat zone as commander-in-chief a week after dismissing his defense secretary in a dispute over Middle East strategy.

The president told reporters at Joint Base al Asad, west of Baghdad, that he has no plans to withdraw American troops from Iraq. He said the U.S. may use the country as a base for regional operations against adversaries including Islamic State after he ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from neighboring Syria.