Trump’s top Syria envoy speeds up resignation to protest troop withdrawal: Report

December 22, 2018 GMT

America’s top Syria envoy is speeding up his resignation in protest of President Trump’s troop withdrawal announcement, CBS reported Saturday.

Brett McGurk, had been planning to leave in two months but sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a resignation letter Friday. He felt he was publicly left in the lurch after he’d said the U.S. needed to maintain a presence in Syria, then Mr. Trump announced his plans for troop withdrawal anyway, the network reported.

His resignation follows that of Defense Secretary James Mattis a move that shook official Washington, with some of the president’s staunchest allies questioning his decision-making.


CBS said Mr. McGurk, who was a holdover from the Obama administration, will now leave his job at the end of this month.

Mr. Trump has taken to Twitter in recent days to defend his move to recall 2,000 American troops who’ve been in Syria assisting U.S.-backed rebels.

On Saturday, he said news reports concerning Syria “are mostly fake.”

He said the U.S. commitment, first made under President Obama, was to be short-term, and “that was seven years ago we never left.”

He said his administration has tamed the Islamic State, calling the terrorist movement “largely defeated.”

“Other local countries, including Turkey, should be able to easily take care of whatever remains. We’re coming home!” Mr. Trump tweeted.