US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, flew into Iraq today with the top US military officer to get a first-hand assessment of the battle against Islamic State from US commanders on the ground and to meet Iraqi officials. For Kushner, who has not been to Iraq before, the trip comes at a critical time as Trump examines ways to accelerate a U.S.-led coalition campaign that U.S. and Iraqi officials say has so far been largely successful in uprooting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.
The visit will demonstrate the far-reaching portfolio of Kushner, 36, who is part of Trump’s innermost circle and who has been given a wide range of domestic and foreign policy responsibilities, including working on a Middle East peace deal.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he invited Kushner and Tom Bossert, White House homeland security adviser, to accompany him so that they could hear first-hand and unfiltered from military advisers about the situation on the ground and interact with U.S. forces.
Dunford’s spokesman, Navy Captain Greg Hicks, said Kushner was travelling on behalf of Trump to express the president’s support and commitment to Iraq’s government and U.S. personnel helping combat Islamic State. Trump, who campaigned on defeating Islamic State, has yet to announce any dramatic shift in war strategy.