Making the covert trek to the Middle East has since been copied by President Barack Obama, and on Wednesday, President Donald Trump.
Air Force One touched down at the Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad after an overnight flight from Washington with first lady Melania Trump, a small group of aides and Secret Service agents, and a pool of reporters.
During Trump's visit to the base, he paused to take a selfie with U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Kyu Lee (seen above with Trump).
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Sharif's second term as prime minister ended in 1999 after he was deposed by then army chief Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup. An across the board accountability process against the corrupt was underway, he added.
"Because of these gains, our service members in Syria can now return home to their families", Trump said.
Trump also spoke to troops gathered in a dining hall festooned with holiday decorations and teased soldiers about their favorite football teams.
Trump landed at 7:16 pm local time at Al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq, accompanied by his wife Melania Trump, an AFP correspondent said.
Lawmakers decried the visit as arrogant and a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. "We've knocked them silly". Trump said from Baghdad he was concerned about the safety of those accompanying him to Iraq.
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Alongside last week's Fed hike woes were murmurs of a partial U.S. government shutdown , which has since gone into effect. The markets closed Christmas Eve down sharply, with the Dow dropping 653 points and the S&P 500 nearing a bear market .
Mattis was supposed to continue leading the Pentagon until late February but Trump moved up his exit and announced that Patrick Shanahan, deputy defense secretary, would take the job on January 1 and he was in "no rush" to nominate a new defense chief.
Trump had planned to spend Christmas at his private club in Florida, but stayed behind in Washington due to the partial government shutdown. The Pentagon is also said to be developing plans to withdraw up to half of the 14,000 American troops still serving in Afghanistan.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that for security reasons, the White House was only able to invite the prime minister two hours before the scheduled time of the meeting and that the prime minister was in a different part of Iraq and unable to attend. The President and military leaders had "come up with a powerful plan", she told reporters, "that will allow us to continue on a path to total victory".
The U.S. military says it has about 5,200 troops in Iraq, focused on training and advising Iraqi troops to ensure that Islamic State does not re-emerge.
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Frazee has not spoken publicly but his attorney, Jeremy Loew, said last week that he was cooperating with law enforcement. Berreth went missing nearly a month ago after last being seen shopping with her 1-year-old daughter on Thanksgiving Day.