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Trump’s move on US troops in Syria was final straw for Mattis: report

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Secretary of Defense James Mattis is resigning, reportedly because the president refused to heed his warnings on withdrawing US troops from Syria.

“Officials said Mr. Mattis went to the White House on Thursday afternoon in a last attempt to convince Mr. Trump to keep American troops in Syria. He was rebuffed, and told the president that he was resigning as a result,” The New York Times wrote Thursday.

A few hours later, Mattis submitted his resignation letter, which stresses that the president needs a defense secretary who shares his view of the world, particularly when it comes to the preservation of an international order best suited to the advancement of US national interests, the treatment of allies and partners, and the handling of American adversaries.

Read more: Defense Secretary James Mattis quits, says his views aren’t ‘aligned’ with Trump as the president upends major US policies

The letter was a scathing rebuke of Trump’s policies.

Trump has time and time again overruled or contradicted Mattis, and it appears that this time was the last straw for the embattled secretary.

The president, proudly claiming that ISIS has been defeated announced Wednesday that US troops will be withdrawing from Syria, a move that many of the president’s advisers have warned against.

Read more: Read Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ full resignation letter to Trump

“Getting rid of the caliphate doesn’t mean you then blindly say okay, we got rid of it, march out, and then wonder why the caliphate comes back,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon in late September. His views were reflected by the American-led coalition in Syria.

“We cannot walk away, we must stay and work with our partners to develop their capabilities and capacity and ensure they can prevent this enemy from ever threatening Iraq, Syria, and any other country around the world,” coalition spokesman Col. Sean Ryan told reporters at the Pentagon late last month.

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