ear Admiral Kevin Sweeney (Picture: US Department of Defense).
USA

Pentagon Chief Of Staff Resigns

Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney becomes third senior Pentagon official to resign in recent weeks.

ear Admiral Kevin Sweeney (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney has resigned as Chief of Staff to the US Department of Defense, becoming the third senior Pentagon official to quit since President Donald Trump announced plans to pull US troops out of Syria.

Rear Admiral Sweeney had held the position since January 2017.  He said in a statement: "After two years in the Pentagon, I've decided the time is right to return to the private sector.

"It has been an honour to serve again alongside the men and women of the Department of Defense."

He did not mention President Trump.

General James Mattis (Picture: US Department of Defense).
General James Mattis (Picture: US Department of Defense).

President Trump's shock announcement on Syria resulted in Defence Secretary General James Mattis resigning.

In his resignation letter, General Mattis wrote: "You (President Trump) have a right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours.

"While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies."

US Marines in Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition's fight against IS (Picture: US Marine Corps).
US Marines in Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition's fight against IS (Picture: US Marine Corps).

Department spokeswoman Dana White also stepped down following President Trump's announcement.

Patrick Shanahan took over from General Mattis in an acting capacity on New Year's Day after President Trump brought his departure date forward. 

President Trump announced the withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from Syria, claiming the so-called Islamic State (IS) were "doomed".

According to reports, two British special forces soldiers were seriously injured by an IS missile in Syria on Saturday morning.