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White House Official: Iraq Trip Provides ‘Invaluable, Informative Experience’

April 5, 2017 | BY Jim Garamone

Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump, said his trip with Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford to Iraq was an “invaluable, informative experience.”

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump; and Tom Bossert, homeland security advisor to the president, meet with Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani, April 4, 2017, while on a trip to assess the health of the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump; and Tom Bossert, homeland security advisor to the president, meet with Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani, April 4, 2017, while on a trip to assess the health of the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump; and Tom Bossert, homeland security advisor to the president, meet with Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani, April 4, 2017, while on a trip to assess the health of the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro
Leader Meeting
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump; and Tom Bossert, homeland security advisor to the president, meet with Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani, April 4, 2017, while on a trip to assess the health of the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro
Photo By: Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro
VIRIN: 170404-D-PB383-054

Kushner met with Iraqi and coalition officials in Baghdad and Irbil and with U.S. troops in Hamam al-Alil, a tactical assembly area just over 10 miles from the Iraqi forces’ front line against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Mosul.

Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, invited Kushner and Tom Bossert, the president’s homeland security advisor, to accompany him on one of his periodic trips to Iraq to take the pulse of the counter-ISIS campaign.

“I was honored to accompany Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford on this trip to Iraq,” Kushner said. “Overall, the trip was an invaluable, informative experience and I come away with a deeper understanding of the situation on the ground and an even greater appreciation for those serving our country oversees.”

At Hamam al-Alil, Kushner met with the gun crew from the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment. They live next to their guns, ready to supply fire support from their M-109A6 Paladins to Iraqi forces battling ISIS in Mosul. He also met with troopers from the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment who are at the base. Both units are based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Meets With, Praises U.S. Troops

“Of the many highlights of my couple of days in Iraq, the biggest was meeting U.S. personnel serving on the front line in our fight against ISIS near Mosul,” Kushner said. “I had the distinct pleasure of meeting many and expressing, on behalf of the president, our appreciation for the incredible work each was making for the security of our nation.”

Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, introduces Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump, to Iraqi generals leading the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Mosul at Hamam al-Alil, a tactical assembly area about 10 miles from Mosul, April 4, 2017. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro
Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, introduces Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump, to Iraqi generals leading the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Mosul at Hamam al-Alil, a tactical assembly area about 10 miles from Mosul, April 4, 2017. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro
Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, introduces Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump, to Iraqi generals leading the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Mosul at Hamam al-Alil, a tactical assembly area about 10 miles from Mosul, April 4, 2017. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro
Dunford Visits Iraq
Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, introduces Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump, to Iraqi generals leading the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Mosul at Hamam al-Alil, a tactical assembly area about 10 miles from Mosul, April 4, 2017. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro
Photo By: Dominique A. Pineiro
VIRIN: 170404-D-PB383-038

In Baghdad, Dunford and Kushner met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defense Minister Arfan al-Hayali.

At the U.S. Embassy, Kushner was briefed by Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman.

On the military side, Kushner was briefed extensively by Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve. He also met with Army Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Martin, the commander of the 1st Infantry Division and of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Operation Inherent Resolve.

In Irbil, Kushner and Dunford met with Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan.

In a written statement, Kushner spoke directly to American service members.

“To the men and women of the Combined Joint Task Force and U.S. Embassy Baghdad, you have left an indelible impression on me and I am awestruck by your patriotism, esprit-de-corps and fighting spirit,” he said. “Each of you has my upmost respect and admiration.”

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)