MESOP NEWS – FOUR TRUMP DELEGATES IN KURDISTAN – Kushner and White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert were travelling with Dunford at the general’s invitation, according to US Navy Captain Greg Hicks.
5 April 2017 – HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and the US’s top military officer met with Kurdish leaders in Erbil on Tuesday, the second day of their visit to Iraq.
His inclusion in the US delegation is a sign of the influence wielded by Jared Kushner, a 36-year-old with no prior government experience who has become one of the most powerful men in Washington by virtue of his family connection to Trump.
Kushner — whose wife Ivanka also plays a key role in advising her father — accompanied General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on a visit to Baghdad before heading to Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.Kushner and Dunford met in Erbil with officials including Kurdish leader Massud Barzani, regional prime minister Nechirvan Barzani and Masrour Barzani, the chancellor of the region’s security council.
As in the Trump administration, family ties can translate into senior posts in Iraqi Kurdish government: Nechirvan is Massoud’s nephew, while Masrour is the Kurdish chief’s son.A post on Masrour Barzani’s official Twitter account described the meeting as “productive”, saying the officials discussed the war against the Islamic State group “and plans for the day after.”
What comes after major operations against the jihadists are over will be especially contentious in north Iraq, where the Kurdish region and Baghdad both claim territory that has been retaken from IS. Kushner and White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert were travelling with Dunford at the general’s invitation, according to US Navy Captain Greg Hicks.