President Donald Trump spent around three and a half hours on the ground in Iraq on his first visit to a troubled region.

“We’re no longer the suckers, folks,” Trump told U.S. servicemen and women at al-Asad Airbase in western Iraq, about 100 miles or 60 kilometers west of Baghdad. “We’re respected again as a nation.”

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet members of the military at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump kisses first lady Melania Trump during a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. President Donald Trump, who is visiting Iraq, says he has ‘no plans at all’ to remove U.S. troops from the country. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. President Donald Trump, who is visiting Iraq, says he has ‘no plans at all’ to remove US troops from the country. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“I made it clear from the beginning that our mission in Syria was to strip ISIS of its military strongholds,” said Trump, who wore an olive green bomber style jacket as he was welcomed by chants of “USA! USA!” and speakers blaring Lee Greenwood’s song, “God Bless the USA.”

Members of the military cheer as President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. President Donald Trump, who is visiting Iraq, says he has ‘no plans at all’ to remove US troops from the country. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
First lady Melania Trump, left, is seated on stage as President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. In a surprise trip to Iraq, President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria where they have been helping battle Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“We’ll be watching ISIS very closely,” said Trump, who was joined by first lady Melania Trump. “We’ll be watching them very, very closely, the remnants of ISIS”

President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. In a surprise trip to Iraq, President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria where they have been helping battle Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit with members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit with members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“We can use this as a base if we wanted to do something in Syria,” he said. “If we see something happening with ISIS that we don’t like, we can hit them so fast and so hard” that they “really won’t know what the hell happened.”

President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. In a surprise trip to Iraq, President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria where they have been helping battle Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. In a surprise trip to Iraq, President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria where they have been helping battle Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“The nations of the regions must step up and take more responsibility for their future,” Trump said, promising a “strong deliberate and orderly withdrawal” of forces from Syria

President Donald Trump, accompanied by National Security Adviser John Bolton, third from left, first lady Melania Trump, fourth from right, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Doug Silliman, third from right, and senior military leadership, speaks to members of the media at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump, accompanied by National Security Adviser John Bolton, third from left, first lady Melania Trump, fourth from right, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Doug Silliman, third from right, and senior military leadership, speaks to members of the media at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump signs a "Make America Great Again" hat as he visits with members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. In a surprise trip to Iraq, President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria where they have been helping battle Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump signs a “Make America Great Again” hat as he visits with members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. In a surprise trip to Iraq, President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria where they have been helping battle Islamic State militants. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
National Security Adviser John Bolton attends a meeting with President Donald Trump and senior military leadership at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. President Donald Trump made an unannounced trip to Iraq on Wednesday to meet U.S. troops. It's the sixth time that a U.S. president has visited Iraq. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
National Security Adviser John Bolton attends a meeting with President Donald Trump and senior military leadership at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. President Donald Trump made an unannounced trip to Iraq on Wednesday to meet U.S. troops. It’s the sixth time that a U.S. president has visited Iraq. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Source: AP