Trump Unleashes Christmas Fury On Mattis And McGurk For Resigning In Protest

Trump Unleashes Christmas Fury On Mattis And McGurk For Resigning In Protest

Trump Unleashes Christmas Fury On Mattis And McGurk For Resigning In Protest

A Turkish official on Monday said President Donald Trump has accepted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's invitation to visit the country.

That drew a critical tweet from Trump on Monday.

The announcement that Mattis would leave the administration came just after Trump stunned Washington and allies overseas in declaring that United States troops would leave Syria and significantly withdraw from Afghanistan.

Major players in and around Syria have started positioning their forces as discussions get under way on how to proceed once USA forces vacate the country and their fight against the last remnants of the Islamic State terror group's self-proclaimed caliphate.

Saudi Arabia has not announced any recent aid initiatives for Syria, other than limited food assistance for 6,000 people outside Aleppo.

"Saudi Arabia has now agreed to spend the necessary money needed to help rebuild Syria, instead of the United States", Trump said via Twitter.

A Kurdish-led alliance, SDF - backed until now by Washington in the anti-IS campaign - controls nearly 30 percent of Syria.

Still, Trump has long floated the idea of Washington's regional allies filling the void left in the Middle East by the United States as it pulls assistance and scales back its military presence in the region in pursuit of his "America First" policies.

"To those few Senators who think I don't like or appreciate being allied with other countries, they are wrong, I DO", Trump said.

In his resignation letter, Mattis strongly defended U.S. alliances across the world and said Washington should treat its allies with respect and be "resolute and unambiguous" in its approach to the countries which challenge it, such as China and Russian Federation.

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The former North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commander went on to say, "What the United States had going for it is the reputation of reliability, consistency-that we were going to be there through thick and thin". But the move was lauded by Turkey.

Erdogan said that security across the border is Turkey's responsibility.

Manbij was at the centre of an agreement the USA and Turkey reached in June under which Kurdish forces were to withdraw.

A day after Trump announced he would replace Mattis two months earlier than expected, the president took a parting shot at the Pentagon chief, who resigned last week over policy differences with Trump.

"Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the USA leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us", Trump added.

Trump, facing objectors even among his own Republican Party, retorted: "Our troops are coming home" and brought forward to January 1 the replacement of Jim Mattis, who quit as Pentagon chief, by his deputy Patrick Shanahan.

After being overruled by the White House, outgoing Secretary of Defense James Mattis signed an order on Monday to commence the withdrawal of the roughly 2,000 American troops fighting ISIS in Syria, CBS News confirmed.

"Americans have uttered numbers such as 30-60 days, 60-100 days".

The Defense Department has posted Mattis' resignation letter on Facebook and on its website.

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