Military not in disarray: United States defence chief

But Mattis, a retired Marine who had commanded troops during the invasion of Iraq, distanced himself from Trump's statement.

Donald Trump has been on a media warpath as every speech he makes includes digs at what he calls "fake news.' However, his administration is not completely behind him on that agenda".

"We're not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil", Mattis said during an unannounced visit to Iraq on February 20, according to Reuters.

Speaking to Radio Sputnik on Tuesday, Wing recalled that "President Trump's remarks about taking Iraq's oil caused a lot of controversy in Iraq".

He told reporters that, despite President Trump's earlier statements to the contrary, the us does not plan to seize Iraqi oil.

"I am firmly committed to addressing Congressional concerns in a timely manner and aggressively exploring and implementing reforms that best position the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department for success", Mattis wrote in the first.

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But he said he was reassured after his talks in Baghdad that Iraq's leaders recognized the value of its relationship with the United States. In Munich, he had the same message for skittish European diplomats assembled for a major annual conference on security.

Townsend also acknowledged that USA forces are now operating closer and deeper into the fight with Iraq units as the battle to retake western Mosul entered its second day.

The visit comes as the Iraqi government's latest push to capture the western part of Mosul entered its second day. "So we should have kept the oil", he said. He added, "I think that the government of Iraq realizes their very complex fight, and they're going to need the assistance of the coalition even beyond Mosul". "Stay at home, raising the white flags as the forces approach".

Mattis met with USA and coalition leaders from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom after arriving in Baghdad. "And the only way you can do this is talking to the people on the ground".

Hundreds of US troops are already in Iraq, serving as trainers and advisers, in an attempt to help the country win the battle against IS militants in Mosul.

"We adjusted our posture during the east Mosul fight and we embedded advisers a bit further down into the formation", he said.

  • Adam Floyd