The Top US Envoy To The Anti-ISIS Coalition Just Quit Over Trump's Syria Withdrawal

Bullet Points
Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, left, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, listen during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, May 19, 2017, on the Islamic State group.
Associated Press/Jacquelyn Martin

Brett McGurk, the Trump administration's top envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, resigned on Friday in protest of President Donald Trump's sudden decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, multiple media outlets reported on Saturday.


  • McGurk, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015, submitted his resignation to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just one day after Secretary of Defense James Mattis submitted his own scathing letter of resignation in response to the new Syria withdrawal plans.
  • According to CBS News, McGurk "had been planning to exit his post in February 2019 ... but will accelerate his departure due to a strong disagreement" with Trump's strange position that ISIS has been soundly defeated in the country.
  • In an early December State Department briefing, McGurk said of ISIS that “it would be reckless if we were just to say, ‘Well, the physical caliphate is defeated, so we can just leave now.’ I think anyone who’s looked at a conflict like this would agree with that.”
  • Just days later, McGurk had argued that "Americans will remain on the ground after the physical defeat of the caliphate until we have the pieces in place to ensure that that defeat is enduring."
  • According to Bloomberg, Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria came during a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, a decision that blindsided officials at both State and Defense.

WATCH NEXT:

The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.

Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.

Read More Show Less

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.

A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
White House/Shealah Craighead

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.

Read More Show Less
Capt. Tranay Lashawn Tanner. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photo)

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.

"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."

Read More Show Less