PHOTOS: Trump and first lady Melania make a surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq

President Trump delivers remarks to U.S. troops in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

President Trump made a surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq on Wednesday. The visit, which was the first time Trump has met with American troops in a combat zone, was not announced in advance. It came amid controversies over Trump’s plans to withdraw forces from the Middle East.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders revealed the trip on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

“President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas,” Sanders posted.

Wire photos showed Trump and first lady Melania Trump meeting with soldiers and military leaders at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. Trump was joined by national security adviser John Bolton.

Read the rest by Hunter Walker/Yahoo News >>>

See more photos from the trip below:

President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
First lady Melania Trump, left, accompanied by President Donald Trump, speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
President Trump kisses first lady Melania Trump before addressing troops at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq on Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Members of the military wait for President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to greet them at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, left, speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
U.S. troops listen to President Trump during an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
President Trump delivers remarks to U.S. troops stationed at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
President Trump speaks with U.S. troops at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet military personnel at the dining facility at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet military personnel at the dining facility at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
President Donald Trump signs a “Make America Great” hat as he visits with members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
U.S. troops take a selfie with President Trump and first lady Melania Trump at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
President Donald Trump, right, jokes with National Security Adviser John Bolton, third from left, and senior military leadership, as he speaks to members of the media at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
President Donald Trump, accompanied by National Security Adviser John Bolton, third from left, first lady Melania Trump, fourth from right, US Ambassador to Iraq Doug Silliman, third from right, and senior military leadership, speaks to members of the media at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
President Trump, traveling with first lady Melania Trump, meets political and military leaders at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
President Trump is surrounded U.S. troops during in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Dec. 26, 2018. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.

_____

Read more from Yahoo News:

See the rest of our 2018 year-end features >>>