Brett McGurk announced his resignation earlier Saturday, following in the footsteps of Defense Secretary James Mattis who announced his own resignation on Thursday. Both men are said to have had differences with the president over Trump's plan to withdraw US forces stationed in Syria battling Daesh in the region, World News reported.
Brett McGurk, who I do not know, was appointed by President Obama in 2015. Was supposed to leave in February but he just resigned prior to leaving. Grandstander? The Fake News is making such a big deal about this nothing event!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2018
If anybody but your favorite President, Donald J. Trump, announced that, after decimating ISIS in Syria, we were going to bring our troops back home (happy & healthy), that person would be the most popular hero in America. With me, hit hard instead by the Fake News Media. Crazy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2018
When President Obama ingloriously fired Jim Mattis, I gave him a second chance. Some thought I shouldn’t, I thought I should. Interesting relationship-but I also gave all of the resources that he never really had. Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of U.S.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2018
Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the United States had initially planned to deploy their force to Syria for three months, but eventually the US troops stayed there several years.
I am in the White House, working hard. News reports concerning the Shutdown and Syria are mostly FAKE. We are negotiating with the Democrats on desperately needed Border Security (Gangs, Drugs, Human Trafficking & more) but it could be a long stay. On Syria, we were originally...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2018
....going to be there for three months, and that was seven years ago - we never left. When I became President, ISIS was going wild. Now ISIS is largely defeated and other local countries, including Turkey, should be able to easily take care of whatever remains. We’re coming home!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2018
Trump has stated that the United States had defeated Daesh in Syria, which was the only reason for the US troops being there, so all American troops would be pulled out of Syria.
According to US officials, the US would withdraw its entire force of 2,000 service members from Syria within 60 to 100 days. Washington launched a military operation against Daesh in June 2014 and in Syria in September 2014.
Trump’s decision to pull the troops from Syria has startled not only US allies, including in the Middle East, but also members of the US Congress. Some influential senators of both parties have opposed Trump’s step.
Mattis was previously replaced as head of US Central Command by former President Barack Obama in 2013, reportedly over the two men's differences regarding Iran. In his resignation letter this week, the defense secretary cited the need for a defense secretary who more closely aligned with the president's views as a reason.
McGurk, meanwhile, has offered no public statements since his resignation, but just days ago he told reporters at a State Department press briefing that it would be "reckless" to unilaterally withdraw from the region.
“I think it's fair to say Americans will remain on the ground after the physical defeat of the caliphate, until we have the pieces in place to ensure that that defeat is enduring," McGurk said at the time.
"It would be reckless if we were just to say, well, the physical caliphate is defeated, so we can just leave now. I think anyone who's looked at a conflict like this would agree with that," he added at the news conference.