Two defense officials tell CNN that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis went to the White House to discuss Syria, and that Mattis was upset and “livid” after reading reports this morning about US local allies in Syria being targeted by Turkey following a withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
The officials said what set him off was a report that the Turkish Minister of Defense threatened to kill the US-backed Kurdish allies and put them “in ditches” once the US pulled out.
Mattis was incensed at this and the notion that the US was betraying an ally.
CNN reported earlier that Mattis decided to go to the White House early Thursday morning to discuss his concerns with Syria and try to change the President’s mind. Unable to change the Trump’s mind on the withdrawal from Syria, Mattis then resigned, according to a defense official and a White House official.