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Defense Secretary Austin made an unannounced visit to Iraq

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit to Iraq on Tuesday.

He issued a statement saying he was “reaffirming the US-Iraq strategic partnership as we move toward a more secure, stable and sovereign Iraq.”

General Milley and Secretary Austin testified before the House Armed Services Committee

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in September 2021.

Olivier DOULIERY / Getty Images

Austin is the highest-ranking Cabinet official to visit Iraq since the start of the Biden administration.

The stop was kept secret until he landed for security reasons.

It comes nearly two weeks before the 20th anniversary of the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Austin is in the middle of a multi-nation tour of the region.

— This is a developing story. Check back for more on this.

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