US President Donald Trump used a lightning visit to Iraq, his first with US troops in a conflict zone since being elected, to defend the withdrawal from Syria and to declare an end to the US’s role as the global “policeman”. Trump landed at 7.16pm local time at Al-Asad Airbase in western Iraq, accompanied by his wife Melania, following what he described as a stressful, secrecy-shrouded flight on a “pitch black” Air Force One. The president spoke to a group of about 100 mostly special forces personnel and separately with military leaders before leaving a few hours later. A planned meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi was scrapped and replaced by a phone call, the premier’s office said. During the call, Trump invited Abdel-Mahdi to visit Washington and he accepted, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said. A White House video showed a smiling Trump shaking hands with camouflage-clad personnel, signing autographs and posing for photos at the base in Iraq. Morale-boosti...

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