USA TODAY - Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, visited Iraq during the weekend on an unannounced trip, according to media reports.
NBC News reported that Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka and is a senior adviser to the president, was in the Middle Eastern country Sunday with Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The New York Times reported that Gen. Dunford invited Kushner on the trip. It said the purpose of the visit wasn’t immediately clear. Kushner wanted to see the situation in Iraq for himself and demonstrate support for the Iraqi government, according to the Associated Press.
Kushner, 36, who has no previous government experience, has a portfolio including acting as the Trump administration's point person on Mideast peace.
The reported visit came as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces fighting to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State suffered heavy casualties in the deadliest urban conflict since World War II, according to U.S. officials.
Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, said last week that 774 Iraqi troops were killed and 4,600 wounded since the Mosul offensive began in October. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, is the militants’ last major stronghold in Iraq.
Last week, NBC reported that about 275 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, N.C., have been ordered to deploy to northern Iraq to support U.S. forces assisting the Iraqi military.
Contributing: Jim Michaels
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