Trump says Defense Secretary Mattis leaving at end of February

 Trump says Defense Secretary Mattis leaving at end of February

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general who was known as a stabilising force in President Donald Trump's Cabinet, will leave his job at the end of February, Trump said in a tweet on Thursday.

The departure of Mattis had been anticipated since Trump announced on Wednesday that he was withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria despite opposition from U.S. allies and Trump's own top military officials.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2018 05:05:51 IST