Washington, Dec. 23:
Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, has resigned in protest over President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, a US official said, joining Defence Secretary Jim Mattis in an administration exodus of experienced national security figures.
Only 11 days ago, McGurk had said it would be “reckless” to consider IS defeated and therefore would be unwise to bring American forces home. McGurk decided to speed up his original plan to leave his post in mid-February.
Appointed to the post by President Barack Obama in 2015 and retained by Trump, McGurk said in his resignation letter that the militants were on the run, but not yet defeated, and that the premature pullout of American forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to IS. He also cited gains in accelerating the campaign against IS, but that the work was not yet done.
His letter was submitted Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump played down the development, tweeting oh Saturday night that “I do not know” the envoy and it’s a “nothing event.” He noted McGurk planned to leave soon anyway and added: “Grandstander?” Shortly after news of McGurk’s resignation broke, Trump again defended his decision to pull all of the roughly 2,000 US forces from Syria in the coming weeks.