Iraq is included on the list of seven banned countries as part of Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, but some of his closest advisors are urging him to remove the country from his revised executive order. According to CNN, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of Sate Rex Tillerson, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster have all reminded Trump that Iraq is helping in the battle against ISIS, so it’d probably be a good idea to drop them from the revision, which is expected to arrive next week. The new order will also reportedly allow exemptions for green card and valid visa holders.
The three advisers reportedly contend keeping Iraq on the list could possibly sour relations between the two countries. And that may be the last thing Trump needs as Iraq, along with U.S. forces, are working to rid ISIS from the country. Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who is a commander of a U.S.-led coalition, says Iraq has been “our partner and ally.” He reiterated that ISIS is a universal threat: “They are protecting us here, and we’re fighting this enemy that threatens all of our countries together.”
CNN reminds everyone that it’s still unknown which direction Trump will take, and it’s also likely that Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller (the architect of the original ban) will have their say, too, before the final revision appears.