Trump adviser Kushner visits Iraq

Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, arrived in Iraq on Monday for an unannounced trip, military officials confirmed.

Senior presidential adviser Jared Kushner, here at the White House on February 7, arrived in Iraq monday at the invitation of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford. Pool photo by Andrew Harrer/UPI | License Photo
Senior presidential adviser Jared Kushner, here at the White House on February 7, arrived in Iraq monday at the invitation of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford. Pool photo by Andrew Harrer/UPI | License Photo

Kusher, 36, who is Trump’s son- in-law, was invited by Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “on behalf of the president to express the president’s support and commitment to the government of Iraq and U.S. personnel,” Capt. Greg Hicks, Dunford’s spokesman, announced.

Thomas Bossert, the president’s homeland security adviser, traveled with Kushner at Dunford’s invitation.
Kushner and Bossert were invited to “receive an update on the status of counter-[Islamic State] campaign in Iraq and Syria,” Hicks added.

Trump has entrusted Kushner, who has no prior diplomatic experience, with envoy status. Kushner has worked with Mexican diplomats, and has a vaguely defined mission to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He is also involved in preparations for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States later this week.

Kushner’s visit to Iraq comes as Iraqi troops, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition, are fighting to free the city of Mosul from IS control. U.S. Central Command announced last week that 774 Iraqi troops were killed and about 4,600 injured since the assault of Mosul, the only remaining IS stronghold in Iraq, began in October.

Earlier this month, Iraqi troops advanced to the center of Mosul’s Old City, amid fierce resistance from IS militants.

By Ed Adamczyk