Defense Secretary James Mattis is Leaving the Trump Administration

Defense Secretary James Mattis is Leaving the Trump Administration

Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon that Mattis has made a decision to retire at the end of February.

Donald Trump has announced his secretary of defense, Jim Mattis, will retire in February, in the latest high-profile change to Trump administration personnel.

He did not name a successor, but said one would be appointed shortly.

"General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations".

Speculation that Mr Mattis might not last long in his post grew in October when Mr Trump said in a CBS interview the general was "sort of a Democrat" and might be leaving.

The ouster comes a day after the news - reportedly catching congressional Republicans and military leadership by surprise, or at least, despite their protestations - that the United States would be withdrawing its troops from Syria.

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

It was not immediately clear whether Mattis was ousted or whether he chose to retire, but his relationship with the President has frayed in recent months.

"Mattis had argued that the counterterrorism mission in Syria is not over and that the small USA presence in Syria should remain, said current and former US officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share internal policy discussions", The Post added.

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