US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will be retiring “with distinction” at the end of February, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday.
Mr Trump tweeted that General Mattis “was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations”.
He did not name a successor, but said one would be appointed shortly.
The news of Gen Mattis’ departure comes a day after Mr Trump announced all US troops would be withdrawn from Syria.
In his resignation letter, Gen Mattis described his views on “treating allies with respect” and using “all the tools of American power to provide for the common defence”.
“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,” Gen Mattis wrote.
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