U.S. envoy in fight against Islamic State quits after Syria pullout

U.S. envoy in fight against Islamic State quits after Syria pullout

By Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. envoy leading a global coalition fighting Islamic State has quit over President Donald Trump's decision this week to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, a source familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

Brett McGurk, U.S. special presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat Islamic State, submitted his resignation effective Dec. 31 to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, a State Department official said.

Trump announced on Wednesday that Washington would withdraw the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, upending a pillar of American policy in the Middle East and alarming U.S. allies. The decision was followed on Thursday by the surprise departure of U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

McGurk, who was slated to leave his post in February 2019, objected to Trump's flash Syria decision, a person familiar with the matter said, and Mattis' departure also helped prompt McGurk's early resignation.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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Updated Date: Dec 23, 2018 00:06:37 IST

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