By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday appointed Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan as acting Pentagon chief starting Jan. 1.

In a Twitter post, Trump said: “Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, & previously Boeing. He will be great!”.

The announcement came after the resignation of defense chief, James Mattis, who said his views were not aligned with those of the president.

Mattis planned to end his post in February, but several reports said Trump had been considering removing him early.

On Wednesday, Trump said the U.S. would withdraw roughly 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, which came after a phone call with Erdogan on Oct. 14. The two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination on the war-torn country.

Reports have suggested U.S. forces will leave within 60 to 100 days.

The withdrawal comes on the eve of a possible Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria against the YPG/PKK terrorist group.

Since 2016, Ankara has carried out two similar military operations in northern Syria.

Separately, the U.S. special presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat Daesh Brett McGurk resigned on Saturday.

His resignation will take effect Dec. 31.


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