US' sudden withdrawal from Syria proves breaking point for defence chief James Mattis

WASHINGTON - United States President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw American troops from Syria proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back for Defence Secretary James Mattis, who resigned on principle over his differences with the President on Thursday evening (Dec 20).

"Because you have the right to have a secretary of defence whose views are better aligned with yours... I believe it is right for me to step down from my position," said Mr Mattis in a resignation letter dated a day after the President, in a shock Twitter announcement, said he had ordered a full, rapid withdrawal of more than 2,000 US troops in Syria.

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content