US defence chief Jim Mattis quits Trump administration over Syria withdrawal

10:01 AM | 21 Dec, 2018
US defence chief Jim Mattis quits Trump administration over Syria withdrawal
WASHINGTON –  US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who had opposed President Donald Trump's decision to pull out troops from on Syria, abruptly announced on Thursday he was resigning after meeting with the president.

In a letter to POTUS, the retired general emphasised the importance of "showing respect" to allies.

The US media reported that Secretary Mattis went to the White House on Thursday afternoon to persuade Trump to keep American troops in Syria but when he was rebuffed, he gave his resignation letter to the president.

“My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues,” Secretary Mattis wrote.

“We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances,” he added.

“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defence whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.”

Secretary Mattis, however, said that he would stay till February 28 to allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed.

Soon after Mattis left the White House, President Trump confirmed that the Pentagon chief will leave at the end of February.

NATO allies France and Germany say Washington's change of course risks damaging the fight against Islamic State, the militant group that seized swathes of Iraq and Syria but has now been squeezed to a sliver of Syrian territory.

France said it would keep its troops in northern Syria for now, with Defence Minister Florence Parly saying "Islamic State has not been wiped from the map nor have its roots".

Trump, however, tweeted he was fulfilling a campaign promise to leave Syria, arguing it was "time for others to finally fight".

US officials say the troop withdrawal is expected to mean an end to the US air campaign in Syria, which has been “vital to crushing the militants there and in neighbouring Iraq since 2015”.

A final decision on ending the air campaign is yet to be made.

The roughly 2000 US troops in Syria were helping to combat Islamic State but were also seen as a possible bulwark against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has retaken much of the country in the civil war, with help from Iran and Russia.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which have been fighting Islamic State with US support, said the withdrawal of troops would let the militants regroup at a critical stage.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


Rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 25 Feb 2024 forex rates

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 25, 2024 (Sunday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 25 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94


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