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US defense chief quits after clashing with Trump

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US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly quit on Thursday after falling out with President Donald Trump over his foreign policies.

Mattis released the resignation letter after a face-to-face meeting with Trump in which the two men also aired their differences, a senior White House official said.

“Because you have a right to a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis said in the letter.

This development comes just hours after Trump announced that US troops in Syria would be withdrawn, a decision that upended American policy in the region.

Mattis, a retired Marine general whose embrace of NATO and America’s traditional alliances often put him at odds with Trump, had advised against the Syria withdrawal.




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