Less than 24 hours after the terror group ISIS set off a car bomb in Iraq that killed two people and wounded 11, according to the Al-Arabiya news service, Donald Trump made an unannounced visit to United States troops there and promised swift action against ISIS if the terror group — which Trump last week claimed had been “defeated” — does something “we don’t like.”
As Inquisitr reported, the visit to troops at Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq was Trump’s first visit to U.S. troops stationed abroad since his January 20, 2017, inauguration more than 23 months ago.
Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, made his first visit to U.S. troops in Iraq in April of 2009, less than three months after his own inauguration in January of that year, according to the Military Times. The previous president, George W. Bush — who ordered U.S. troops to invade Iraq in March of 2003 — visited troops there about eight months later, in November of 2003.
One week ago, Trump announced in a Twitter post that he would order U.S. troops to withdraw from Syria, claiming, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there.”
But two days after Trump’s declaration of victory, ISIS “launched an attack in Syria’s southeast against the U.S.-backed SDF militia, employing car bombs and dozens of militants,” the news agency Public Radio International reported.
And on Christmas Day, as Trump was making his way to Iraq, the U.S.-led coalition in Syria announced that it had been engaged in a fierce battle with ISIS forces there, according to Newsweek, claiming that the U.S.-led attacks had “removed several hundred ISIS fighters from the battlefield,” between December 16 and December 22.
On December 25, ISIS claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, a city which had been an ISIS stronghold, but was reclaimed by U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces in August of 2017. There was no news of an immediate U.S. response to the fatal ISIS attack, per a CNN report.
Nonetheless, speaking to U.S. troops at Al Asad base, Trump boasted that the U.S. would hit back at ISIS attacks immediately, saying, “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,” according to a Bloomberg News report. “We’ve knocked them silly,” Trump added.
Trump also told the troops in Iraq, “We’re no longer the suckers, folks,” according to a Daily Beast report.