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Monday 16 September 2019

Mattis to quit in wake of US withdrawal from Syria

Politics

US defense secretary James Mattis. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo
US defense secretary James Mattis. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

Phil Stewart

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, who was known as a stabilising force in President Donald Trump's Cabinet, will leave his job at the end of February, Mr Trump said in a tweet last night.

The retired Marine Corps general's departure had been anticipated since Mr Trump announced on Wednesday that he was withdrawing US troops from Syria despite opposition from US allies and top US military officials.

Mr Mattis said in his resignation letter that he was stepping down so Mr Trump could have a defence chief whose views align more closely with his own.

Mr Trump said he would nominate a successor to Mr Mattis shortly.

Mr Mattis joins a long list of former Trump administration senior figures who have either quit or been removed, some unceremoniously like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who Mr Trump fired via Twitter in March.

Irish Independent

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