In Iraq, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, upbeat on Mosul

Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, a spokesman for the chairman, said on April 3 that Dunford had arrived in Iraq for meetings, including with coalition officials, accompanied by Kushner and Thomas Bossert, the president's homeland security adviser, according to a report by The New York Times.

Jared Kushner "is on the ground" in Iraq, visiting the embattled nation along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford, White House press secretary Sean Spicer says.

This gesture comes days after USA -backed Iraqi troops suffered devastating losses in the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul.

Kushner's travel plans initially were revealed late Sunday by a Trump administration official who said Kushner wanted to see the situation there for himself and show support for Baghdad's government. But when presented with information indicating that was not accurate, the official said the timing of his arrival was unclear but confirmed that Kushner was scheduled to be in Iraq on Monday.

Hicks stated that the objective of Dunford's trip was to attend meetings with American, Iraqi, and coalition officials, reports NBC News. "Iraqi partnership to defeat ISIS".

But Trump has entrusted Kushner, 36 - who is married to his daughter Ivanka - with, among other duties, the role of peace envoy to the Middle East.

But unlike past occurrences, Trump left the White House in broad daylight in Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House, taking off in full view of pedestrians.

On Tuesday, Islamic State issued its first official remarks referring to Trump since he assumed the USA presidency in January, describing him as an "idiot". He's in Iraq; owns MENA policy; on NSC; China deals with him; Tillerson is mostly AWOL.

Iraqi forces have been engaged in a grinding battle for west Mosul since last month, fighting that has pushed more than 200,000 civilians to flee. Almost 290,000 people have fled the city to escape the fighting, according to the United Nations, and it has had a heavy toll on civilians trapped in the city.

Knowing when and where a senior USA military or civilian official might arrive makes attacks easier.

The objective of Kushner's visit was not immediately clear, and the White House did not provide details. The U.S. Justice Department has announced an appeal.

"The Iraqis are looking to make some adaptations", he told reporters after the talks, which included meetings on Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad.

  • Leroy Wright