President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria during an unannounced visit to Iraq, saying, “A lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking.”


Trump abruptly made the decision on Syria last week, against the advice of top aides and commanders, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, who resigned the next day.

Trump said he had told his advisers “let’s get out of Syria,” but was then persuaded to stay, before deciding to bring the 2,000 troops home.

“I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. It’s time for us to start using our head,” the president told reporters at the Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad where he and first lady Melania Trump spent three hours on the ground visiting U.S. troops.

Writing by Lesley Wroughton; editing by Mary Milliken and Leslie Adler