Mike Pence makes unannounced visit to troops in Iraq

Nov. 23 (UPI) — Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Iraq on Saturday on an unannounced visit to U.S. troops stationed there.

Pence landed at Al Asad Air Base for U.S. troops training and assisting Iraq forces fighting the Islamic State.

The trip comes amid anti-government protests since October.

Three people were killed and 26 people were injured Friday as Iraqi security forces dispersed protesters on a central Baghdad bridge, security forces and activists said.

Since the protests began last month over government corruption, lack of public services and unemployment more than 300 people have been killed and nearly 15,000 have been injured, a human rights organization said. CNN reported protests are believed to be the biggest since the fall of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 2003.

In December, President Donald Trump similarly made an unannounced visit to U.S. troops in Iraq. The visit came days after he had announced an order to withdrawal all U.S. forces from neighboring Syria.

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