US Defense Secretary Mattis to retire, Trump says

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general who was known as a stabilising force in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, will leave his job at the end of February, Trump said in a tweet on Thursday.

The departure of Mattis had been anticipated since Trump announced on Wednesday that he was withdrawing US troops from Syria despite opposition from US allies and Trump’s own top military officials.

In his tweet, Trump thanked Mattis for his service, and said a new defence chief will be named shortly. 

In his resignation letter, Mattis said Trump deserves a defence secretary “whose views are better aligned” with his. 

More soon…

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