Ivanka Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, flies into Iraq with top USA general
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 18:43
After arriving, Kushner, who has no previous experience in government, joined Dunford for meetings with the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad and the senior American commander in Iraq, Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend.
The Trump administration's failure to keep senior adviser Jared Kushner's trip to Iraq secret isn't standard practice for top USA officials visiting warzones.
Greg Hicks, a spokesman for Dunford, said Kushner was "traveling on behalf of the president to express the president's support and commitment to the government of Iraq and USA personnel now engaged in the campaign".
"The more appreciation you could have for what's actually happening on the ground, the more informed you are when you start talking about the strategic issues", Dunford said. It comes against the backdrop of an ongoing investigation into civilian deaths in an area of Mosul near the site of an airstrike by US -led coalition forces last month.
The official said that Kushner wanted to see the situation in Iraq for himself and show support for the Baghdad government.
"We thought discussing our nation's founding values and freedom for Americans of all faiths was the responsible thing to do before Mr. Trump came to power", Farhana Khera, the director of Muslim Advocates and one of five Muslim leaders at the meeting, told BuzzFeed, which on Tuesday broke the story of the early January get-together.
Kushner's wife Ivanka, the 35-year-old first daughter, also plays a key role in advising her father.
Trump, who campaigned on defeating ISIS, has yet to announce any dramatic shift in war strategy.
Almost 290,000 people have fled the city to escape the fighting, according to the United Nations.
What happens to the United States military role in Iraq if Mosul is recaptured remains unclear.
"As far as I'm concerned, if that's the kind of engagement happening, there's no engagement", Alzayat, who did not know about the Kushner meeting, said.
Influential Shia cleric Moqtada al Sadr has previously called on Iraq's government to order the withdrawal of U.S. and allied forces after the battle of Mosul is over.
"It's not our judgment that the Iraqis will be self sustaining and self sufficient in the wake of Mosul". The dam is a strategic target in the military campaign, located about 40 km (25 miles) to the east of Raqqa.