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Donald Trump Visits US Troops in Iraq to Celebrate Christmas

These troops were part of a US-led coalition which has been fighting and conducting airstrikes against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria

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Donald Trump, Prince, troops
Indian American Congressman asks Trump to end government shutdown. VOA

US President Donald Trump visited the US troops in Iraq to celebrate Christmas, the official Iraqiya television reported on Wednesday.

The state-run channel briefly said that Trump “denied any plans to withdraw US troops from Iraq,” reports Xinhua news agency.

As for his decision to withdraw US troops from neighbouring Syria, Donald Trump said that “a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking,” according to the channel.

The channel said that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived earlier at Ayn al-Asad airbase in Iraq’s western province of Anbar after an overnight flight, where hundreds of US troops are stationed.

Trump left Iraq to Washington after the surprised two-hour visit without meeting with any Iraqi leaders, it added.

The US House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on its twitter account that “Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit our troops and senior military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas.”

Trump’s visit to Iraq is his first since taking office nearly two years ago.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said that the US troops’ withdrawal from Syria would have negative impact on Iraq.

Trump, U.S.
Donald Trump. VOA

“We have discussed… the US decision to withdraw troops from Syria, because this has great repercussions on Iraq,” Abdul Mahdi told a press conference after a weekly cabinet meeting.

“If there is a security tension in Syria (by the US pullout), there will be a wave of migration, and Iraq will be one of the first countries to be exposed to such issue,” Abdul Mahdi said.

“The terrorists may leave the Syrian territory and try to go to Iraq, and this also would have repercussions on our country,” Abdul Mahdi added.

He stressed that Iraq needs to take precautions from now so that it will not be affected.

The prime minister mentioned that the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had informed him of the pullout of the US troops before the implementation of the decision, asserting that Pompeo confirmed that the US will continue to support Iraq in its war against terrorism.

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Abdul Mahdi’s comments came two days after he held a phone call with Pompeo, who explained the details of the scheduled pullout from Syria.

Recently, Donald Trump declared a plan to withdraw all US troops from Syria, citing the full defeat of IS militants in the country.

These troops were part of a US-led coalition which has been fighting and conducting airstrikes against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria. (IANS)

Next Story

Christmas Baking Starts Now

Sous Chef Vijesh Modi from The Deltin, Daman shares the secret recipe to a perfect Panettone

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Christmas
A house is seen decorated with Christmas lights in the borough of Queens in New York December 22, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES) VOA

This is the season when everyone is looking forward to some plum pudding, Christmas cake and mulled wine. If you want to be everyone’s favorite this year, you can spread the love with some self baked goodies. Sous Chef Vijesh Modi from The Deltin, Daman shares the secret recipe to a perfect Panettone.

1. Panettone

Ingredients

4 Tbsp Warm Milk

14 G Yeast

100g Caster Sugar

250g Butter, Softened

5 Medium Eggs, Lightly Beaten

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Grated Zest of 1 Lemon

Grated Zest of 1 Orange

500g Strong White Bread Flour,

Plus Extra for Dusting

80g Raisins

80g Sultanas

3 Tbsp Dark Rum

100g Good-Quality Candied Lemon And Orange Peel, Finely Chopped

For The Topping

30g Whole Blanched Almonds, Roughly Chopped

1 Tbsp Caster Sugar

1 Tbsp Egg White

1 Tbsp Icing Sugar

baking Panettone
Mix together the almonds, caster sugar and egg white for the topping and gently brush over the top of the panettone. Pixabay

Method

Grease a panettone tin (see Tip) or a 20cm deep cake tin, or use a panettone case. Place the warm milk in a bowl and add the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar and leave for a few minutes. Put the remaining sugar in a large bowl and beat together with the butter and vanilla extract until really light, creamy and pale. Stir in the lemon and orange zest. Add the eggs a little at a time until all are well incorporated. Spoon in a tablespoon of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle and beat this in with the eggs. Place the flour in a large bowl and mix with a good pinch of salt and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture then the butter and egg mixture, folding in with a large spoon to make soft dough. Knead for 5 mins in the bowl until it all starts to come together. It will be pretty sticky dough at this stage.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a further 10 mins, until everything has come together and you have a very soft and stretchy dough. Add a light sprinkling of flour to the surface and your hands as you go to stop the mixture sticking, but try not to add too much. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for 2 hrs until doubled in size. Place the raisins and sultanas in a small saucepan with the rum and heat gently for 5 – 7 mins until the fruit has absorbed the liquid and is plump and juicy. Set aside to cool.

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When the dough is raised, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 5 mins. Gradually knead in the soaked raisins, sultanas and chopped candied peel. Shape the dough into a ball and pop into the prepared tin. If using a 20cm cake tin, wrap a layer of baking parchment around the outside of the tin, to come up about 5cm above the rim, and secure the paper with string. This will help contain the dough as it rises. Cover lightly with cling film and leave to rise for another hour until it has risen to the top of the tin or paper.

Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Adjust the oven shelf to the right height. Mix together the almonds, caster sugar and egg white for the topping and gently brush over the top of the panettone. Place in the oven and bake for 40 – 50 mins until golden and risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely before dusting lightly with icing sugar and cutting into wedges to serve. (IANS)