US President Donald Trump accompanied by First Lady Melania left Washington DC in Air Force One. The timing was in the middle of the night, the destination was Iraq and there was no fanfare. The White House wanted to keep it under wraps but a plane spotter from Sheffield turned spoilsport. He was in his house snapping pictures of aircraft in the sky when he suddenly saw the unmistakable Air Force One. He was excited and posted it on social media. Therefore, what was supposed to be a top-secret affair became public.

The Metro UK reports that Donald Trump had been in office for slightly more than 700 days and the visit to Iraq was his first trip to a combat zone to interact with US troops.

The White House wanted to keep the trip a secret and the plane was flying under a false callsign.

Air Force One and the Iraq trip

The photographer posted the image on a photo-sharing site and those who saw it recognized it easily. It was one of the two VC-25 planes identified as Air Force One, which is used by the president of the US. Once the viewers cross-referenced it with tracking data, they deduced that it was heading towards the Middle East. Air Force One is a prestigious aircraft that attracts public attention. Apparently, an upgrade of $24-million is on the cards.

Donald Trump and Melania landed at Al Asad Air Base.

There, during interaction with the soldiers, he revealed that he did not have any plan to withdraw forces from Iraq. Incidentally, he had recently declared victory in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria. He had also said he would recall the troops. Additionally, there are US troops deployed at the Mexico border to maintain a vigil over illegal migrants.

However, the president earned criticism for his failure to meet service personnel in the Middle East. This sudden visit could be an attempt to wipe out that perception.

The President and First Lady posed for selfies

According to the Express UK, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania posed for selfies at the Al Asad Air Base.

They also signed autographs and a video posted to social media showed them with members of a Navy SEAL Team. In the opinion of Pentagon officials both current and past, the location of a deployment of this specialized team goes against the norms of operational security. They are outraged. It is customary to blur the faces of the soldiers to protect their identities, but the footage made no effort to do that. A former US Navy intelligence specialist with experience in Iraq adds that exposing identities of members of a specialist team could have far-reaching consequences. An official of the Defense Department explained that when they appear in official photographs, they have to keep their faces covered or the authorities have to blur them digitally before releasing it to the media.