Saturday, December 22, 2018

US envoy in ISIS fight, Brett McGurk, resigns over US withdrawal from Syria

By Elise Labott and Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Updated 3:04 PM ET, Sat December 22, 2018

Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS, submitted his resignation Friday because of President Donald Trump's decision to pull US forces out of Syria, according to two senior officials and several sources familiar with his thinking.

McGurk had previously said privately that he was going to leave the administration in February of next year.
A State Department official told CNN that McGurk had informed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday that he was resigning, effective December 31.

CBS News was the first to report the news of McGurk's resignation, which came one day after Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned, also in part due to the Syria decision.


According to the sources, McGurk viewed the Syria decision as reckless and couldn't defend it, let alone execute it. He felt his integrity and his credibility were on the line, the sources told CNN.
"Brett was able to get US coalition partners to commit troops based on a code of trust with allies that the US was in the fight with them," said one source familiar with McGurk's thinking. "So after this sudden snap decision by the President to get out, he knew he could not be the one carrying this out."


"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."


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