Trump in Iraq: Seals, secrets, selfies, squabbles

BBC News | 12/28/2018 | Staff
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Media captionUS President Donald Trump: 'We're no longer the suckers, folks'

Donald Trump's unannounced Christmas visit to US troops in Iraq succeeded as a morale-boosting exercise, judging from the standing ovation the president got. Equally, and perhaps predictably, the trip had its controversial moments - and his legendary attachment to social media had something to do with it.

Recognition - Suckers

Recognition: 'We're no longer the suckers'

Mr Trump travelled to al-Asad airbase, west of Baghdad, to thank armed forces personnel for what they had achieved in Iraq against Islamic State (IS), the Sunni Muslim militant group, during his tenure as commander-in-chief:

Years - President - Group - Today - Great

"Two years ago when I became president they were a very dominant group, today they're not so dominant any more. Great job."

"We're no longer the suckers, folks," he said. "We're respected again as a nation."

Mr - Trump - First - Lady - Melania

Mr Trump was accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump on the first trip of his presidency to a war zone. The couple walked amid troops, posing for selfies and signing autographs.

More than 5,000 US troops remain in Iraq to train and advise local forces, who are fighting what remains of IS following a string a victories last year.

Exposure - Did - Navy - Seals - World

Exposure: Did smiling Navy Seals know the whole world would see their faces?

Shortly after he left Iraqi airspace, Mr Trump proudly shared a video of what he'd been up to during the visit.

Watchers - Something - Mr - Trump - Team

But it didn't take long for eagle-eyed watchers to point out something it seemed Mr Trump and his team might have missed.

It appears that those in the video include an elite US Navy Seal team, according to Newsweek. A team, the magazine pointed out, which would usually have their identities protected.

Malcolm - Nance - US - Navy - Intelligence

Malcolm Nance, a former US Navy intelligence specialist, told the magazine it would be a very unusual decision to picture them so clearly while on duty because, if any of them were...
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