Following President Trump’s announcement of the withdrawal of US troops from Syrian soil, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced his resignation on Thursday, December 20. Jim Mattis was in favour of stabilizing American troops in northeastern Syria, previously an important focus of the Islamic state. President Trump’s unilateral decision therefore marks a major setback for the Defense Secretary. It is also a rejection on Trump’s part to extend military alliances in the area. The Americans, however at the head of the coalition for intervention in Syria in 2014, will be the first to withdraw their troops.
This decision is largely unpopular on the international scene and even in the Republican Party. Jim Mattis’ resignation marks a new twist for the Trump administration, which is already in turmoil with the risk of a Shut Down. It is also another major loss for the Trump presidency, which is losing an important strategic advisor. Moreover, the public announcement of such a withdrawal is a threat to the stability of the region, whose many armed groups, including the Taliban, now have a greater capacity for action.
Le Monde : https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/12/21/james-mattis-prend-acte-de-ses-desaccords-avec-donald-trump_5400636_3210.html
New York Times : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/20/us/politics/jim-mattis-defense-secretary-trump.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage