Brett McGurk, US envoy to anti-ISIS coalition, resigns in wake of Trump decision to pull troops from Syria


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Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy for the worldwide coalition to defeat Islamic State (ISIS), has resigned within the wake of President Trump’s choice to drag U.S. troops out of Syria, Fox Information confirmed Saturday — approaching the heels of the resignation of Protection Secretary Jim Mattis earlier this week.

U.S. officers mentioned this week that the Trump administration is planning to drag all 2,000 troops out of Syria, and Trump later tweeted that “we’ve got defeated ISIS in Syria, my solely cause for being there throughout the Trump Presidency.”

Floor troops moved into Syria in 2015 to fight ISIS within the area, amid an escalating Syrian civil struggle. Trump had talked about pulling out of Syria earlier than, however navy leaders had warned about ISIS re-emerging ought to the U.S. accomplish that. There may be additionally concern about abandoning the U.S.’ Kurdish allies.


On Thursday, Trump introduced that Mattis was retiring in February. Mattis’ resignation letter mentioned that Trump had a proper to a Protection Secretary “whose views are higher aligned with yours” on coverage. Sources instructed Fox Information this week that Mattis’ resignation was “in protest” over the president’s nationwide safety insurance policies and that extra resignations may very well be coming.

U.S. envoy to the coalition towards Islamic State Brett McGurk attends the Kuwait Worldwide Convention for Reconstruction of Iraq, in Bayan, Kuwait February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee

The Related Press, which first reported McGurk’s resignation, reported that he mentioned in a resignation letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that ISIS was on the run, however wasn’t but defeated and that U.S. work in Syria wasn’t but completed. Fox Information has discovered that McGurk submitted his resignation letter on Friday, a day after Secretary Mattis resigned. His resignation is efficient December 31.


McGurk, appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2015, had mentioned in a Dec. 11 press convention that it might be “reckless” to contemplate ISIS defeated and that the “enduring defeat of a gaggle like this implies you may’t simply defeat their bodily house after which depart.”

“No person is saying that they will disappear. No person is that naive,” he instructed reporters. “So we need to keep on the bottom and ensure that stability might be maintained in these areas.”

An official instructed the Related Press that McGurk was planning to go away the job in mid-February, however felt he may not proceed after Trump’s choice and Mattis’ resignation.


McGurk beforehand served as a deputy assistant secretary of state for Iraq and Iran, and led secret facet talks with Iran concerning the launch of American prisoners throughout the negotiations for the Iran nuclear deal.

McGurk had beforehand labored as a Supreme Courtroom regulation clerk to the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He had additionally served on former President George W. Bush’s Nationwide Safety Council workers, the place in 2007 and 2008, he was the lead U.S. negotiator on safety agreements with Iraq.

McGurk’s departure is the most recent signal of criticism from Trump’s allies in his administration, and in Congress, for the choice.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. just lately blasted Trump for his choice to drag troops out of Syria, calling it an “Obama-like choice” — an allusion to Obama’s choice to drag troops from Iraq in 2011. In return, Trump fired again, saying it was obscure why Graham can be towards saving numerous lives.

“So laborious to imagine that Lindsey Graham can be towards saving soldier lives & billions of $$$. Why are we combating for our enemy, Syria, by staying & killing ISIS for them, Russia, Iran & different locals? Time to give attention to our Nation & convey our youth again house the place they belong!” Trump tweeted.

On Saturday, Trump mentioned that ISIS is “largely defeated” and that different international locations, equivalent to Turkey may care for no matter is left.

“We’re coming house!” he tweeted.

Fox Information’ Nicholas Kalman, Jennifer Griffin, Ben Florance and The Related Press contributed to this report.

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