U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin landed in Baghdad Tuesday for an unannounced visit to Iraq.
He issued a statement saying he’s there “to reaffirm the U.S.-Iraq strategic partnership as we move toward a more secure, stable, and sovereign Iraq.”
Austin is the highest ranking cabinet official to visit Iraq since the beginning of the Biden administration.
The stop was kept secret until he landed for security reasons.
It came roughly two weeks before the 20th anniversary of the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
Austin is in the midst of a multi-nation visit to the region.
— This is a developing story. Please check back for more on it.
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