Mattis Signs Order Withdrawing US Troops From Syria

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U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis speaks to reporters at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Nov. 21, 2018
DoD photo/Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has signed the execute order withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose.


"The execute order for Syria has been signed," Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, told Task & Purpose in an email. "I am not going to provide more operational details at this time."

On Sunday, the outgoing defense secretary signed the order — which outlines how and when an estimated 2,000 American troops would be redeployed from Syria — just days after he resigned in protest of Trump's decision to pull out of the country.

Brett McGurk, the Trump administration's top envoy overseeing the anti-ISIS fight, also resigned on Friday.

Trump has also reportedly decided to withdraw at least half of the 14,000 or so troops serving in Afghanistan, although it's still unclear whether formal orders have been issued.

Gen. Robert Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps, recently told Marines he was visiting with in Afghanistan that he had "no idea" on the specifics of a withdrawal of troops from Syria or Afghanistan.

"I don’t think anybody really knows exactly what’s going to happen. I’ve read the same stuff in the newspaper you did, I have a little more knowledge than that, but not a whole lot more," Neller said.

"I have no orders, so nothing changed," Gen. Austin Miller, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, said in a meeting with a provincial governor on Sunday. "But if I do get orders, I think it is important for you to know that we are still with the security forces. Even if I have get a little bit smaller, we will be okay."

SEE ALSO: Air Force A-10 Pilots Awarded For Saving 50 US Troops In ‘Danger Close’ Air Strike In Syria

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