US President Donald Trump on Sunday said that he discussed the pull out of US troops from Syria in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria, and the slow and highly coordinated pullout of US troops from the area," Trump said in a tweet on Sunday, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group. "After many years they are coming home." he wrote. On Friday, Trump announced plans to pull the 2,000 US troops out of Syria, where they have been helping coordinate a multinational fight against IS a move lauded by Turkey. Tayyip Erdogan has been pressing for a US withdrawal from Syria for long.
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Trump's sudden decision sparked turmoil in his administration, prompting the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, as well as of Brett McGurk, the special envoy to the anti-IS coalition.
Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, resigned in protest over President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, a US official said, joining Defence Secretary Jim Mattis in an administration exodus of experienced national security figures. McGurk had said it would be "reckless" to consider IS defeated and therefore would be unwise to bring American forces home. McGurk decided to speed up his original plan to leave his post in mid-February. Appointed to the post by President Barack Obama in 2015 and retained by Trump, McGurk said in his resignation letter that the militants were on the run, but not yet defeated, and that the premature pullout of American forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to IS.
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Trump played down the development, tweeting Saturday night that "I do not know" the envoy and it's a "nothing event." He noted McGurk planned to leave soon anyway and added: "Grandstander?" Shortly after news of McGurk's resignation broke, Trump again defended his decision to pull all of the roughly 2,000 US forces from Syria in the coming weeks.
"We were originally going to be there for three months, and that was seven years ago we never left," Trump tweeted. "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!"