Trumps no-code high-definition photo-taking video with soldiers on social media was accused of breaking rules, revealing the identity and location of SEALs, while Iraqi parliamentarians accused Trump of violating Iraqs sovereignty and demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
Trump and First Lady Melania visited Al-Asad Air Force Base in Western Iraq on December 26. The visit was not announced in advance, and Trump did not meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul-Mehdi because of differences over the venue of the meeting.
After three hours in Iraq, Trump returned to the United States on Air Force One. On the way back, Trump posted a video on Twitter showing the soldiers taking pictures and meeting. Twitter highlighted the soldiers stationed at Assad Air Force Base in Iraq.
As of publication, the tweet remained on Trumps Twitter and was not withdrawn.
Photo Source: Twitter
However, Newsweek pointed out on the 27th that Trumps tweet not only exposed the presence of Seals at Assad Air Force Base, but also exposed the appearance of the members of the commandos in front of the world. Generally, the stationing and membership of special forces are confidential information.
According to the White House press corps, Trump spoke to more than 100 special forces soldiers fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria during his visit. After the speech, Trump took a picture with a Navy Major, who was also the chaplain of Seal Assault Five.
After learning this information, Trump invited the commandos to take pictures together. So theres a picture of Trump in the video with all the armed players with night vision glasses.
U.S. defense officials, who did not want to be named, said that in order to protect the security of soldiers in theatre, special forces, including SEALs, were stationed in confidential information. Although the President, as Supreme Commander, has the power to decrypt relevant information, when releasing photos and videos of special forces soldiers, the faces of soldiers need to be processed to protect their identity.
The defense official accused that there has never been a photograph of the faces of soldiers serving in special forces in theatre before.
Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. Navy intelligence expert, pointed out that after casually revealing the identity of special forces soldiers in theatre in the media, if the soldiers were captured by enemies or terrorist organizations, it is impossible to deny who they are.
In addition to provoking disapproval from the military, Trumps surprise attack angered Iraqi parliamentarians and called on Parliament to vote on whether to expel U.S. troops from Iraq.
Members of the Shiite Arab Religious Political Coalition led by anti-American leader Sadr accused Trump of violating diplomatic conventions and not meeting with the Prime Minister of Iraq of violating Iraqs sovereignty, demonstrating his contempt and hostility in dealing with the Iraqi government.
In a statement issued by Abdul-Mehdis office, Trump had ventilated with the Iraqi government before his visit. Abdul-Mehdi and Trump had talks over the phone, but they did not meet because no agreement was reached on how to interview.
Iraqi officials revealed that Trumps request for Abdul-Mehdi to meet at Assad Air Force Base was rejected by the latter.
Several parliamentarians called on the Iraqi parliament to discuss whether to ask the United States to withdraw its troops in order to stop Trumps reckless behavior and let him know that the American occupation is over.
The United States has 5,200 troops in Iraq, and Trump stressed during his visit that, unlike Syria, he does not intend to withdraw American troops from Iraq. In 2014, the U.S. military returned to Iraq to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIS. Last year, Iraq declared the end of the war against ISIS; since then, there has been growing opposition to the continued U.S. military presence.