US Secretary of Defense Mattis steps down

Washington: United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis has stepped down from his position.
US President Donald Trump on Thursday (local time) tweeted, “General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years.

During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting…. ….equipment. General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!”

Pentagon released a copy of Mattis’ resignation in which the Defense Secretary expressed gratitude and stated that it was a privilege to serve the nation, reported CNN.

The resignation comes after Trump hinted at withdrawing troops out of Syria, declaring the defeat of ISIS.

“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense 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,” Mattis wrote in his resignation.

Noting that the President and the department needed enough time to find a new Secretary of Defense, Mattis will leave office on February 2019.

Several Cabinet members including former Chief of Staff John Kelly have resigned after Trump’s second year in office.