26/12/2018 (Arab News – KSA by Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg*): On Sunday, the Pentagon confirmed that the order to withdraw US troops from Syria had been signed. Last week’s announcement of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces, which have been deployed to help the global coalition fight Daesh, came as a shock to US officials, as well as to allies and partners worldwide.
Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned in protest. Apparently angry at his letter of resignation, Trump asked him to leave at the end of December and appointed his deputy as acting defense secretary. Brett McGurk, who served as the special presidential envoy to the coalition, also resigned. Trump later said he had never heard of McGurk, despite the fact that he had been in that post for years.
*Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg is the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) assistant secretary-general for political affairs and negotiation, and a columnist for Arab News.