Thursday, 23 May 2019 | 14:05 WIB

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Resigns after Disagreements with President Trump

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

JAKARTA, NNC - US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned Thursday, Dec 20, suddenly declared his withdrawal, after a disagreement with President Donald Trump on the president's foreign policies.

Mattis submitted the letter a day after Trump objected his senior advisers and decided to withdraw 2,000 US troops from Syria.

Mattis announced plans to step down after meeting with Trump. During the meeting, the two expressed their differences, said a high-ranking White House official.

“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 said in his resignation letter announed by the Pentagon.

A US official said Mattis' resignation was not prompted by a pressure from Trump.

Trump on Wednesday, Dec 19, announced that he would withdraw American forces in Syria. The decision was a change from the policies adopted by US in the region.

Officials also said that Trump was also considering to withdraw of large number of US troops from a 17-year conflict in Afghanistan.

Officials said Mattis opposed the decision on Syria. One official said the withdrawal from Syria was one of the factors that triggered Mattis to resign.

Mattis is a former Marine general, whose proximity to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and traditional American allies often opposes Trump.

In his resignation letter, Mattis implies that he does not agree with Trump's policies, which lead to exclusion. According to his belief, the US needs to maintain strong relationships and respect its allies, citing Antara.