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Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is warning that it's "absolutely a given" that ISIS will come back if the U.S. doesn't keep up pressure on the group, just one week after President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria.
"It's in a situation of disarray right now. Obviously the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks, and we'll have to see if they're able to maintain the fight against ISIS," Mattis said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," set to air on Sunday. "It's going to have an impact. The question is how much?"
For the second time in 10 months, President Donald Trump has acquiesced to Turkish demands to move U.S. forces out of the way of a planned offensive against the Kurdish fighters who have fought and died alongside U.S. troops to destroy ISIS's former caliphate in Syria.
The White House announced at 11 p.m. on Sunday that Trump had agreed to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria after speaking with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose military will now supposedly to take custody of the tens of thousands of ISIS fighters and their families currently being held by the Syrian Democratic Forces.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
President Donald Trump has fired National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton, the president tweeted on Tuesday.
"I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House," the president tweeted.
"I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week."
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former Defense Secretary and retired four-star Marine Corps general Jim Mattis said he will not be running for president in the 2020 US presidential election and that he was "eager to see the fresh ideas" from the candidates.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is not talking about President Donald Trump in his new memoir Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, written with military author Bing West and released Monday.
But the book, styled as a three-part course in leadership tracing Mattis' 40-year career from Marine infantryman to head of U.S. Central Command, still delivers plenty of anecdotes and reflections that will satisfy admirers of the legendary general.