With just a week left before his new departure date, Defense Secretary James Mattis has signed the official order to withdraw US troops from Syria. Mattis had opposed the withdrawal, and it is seen as a major reason for his resignation.
The withdrawal will see some 2,000 US troops removed from Syria, a plan announced last week. It is believed that Turkey will be replacing the US in that part of eastern Syria, though this will involve Turkey fighting the Kurdish YPG.
Mattis followed the initial announcement up of his withdrawal with an announced plan to resign by the end of February. With reports of him criticizing Trump, he was subsequently ordered to leave at year’s end.
Trump has issued a further series of statements since then criticizing Mattis, saying Mattis did not see a problem with the US subsidizing the militaries of rich countries, or allowing them to “take total advantage of the US and our TAXPAYERS, on Trade.”
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