Brett McGurk, the United States' special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter the Islamic State, tendered his resignation Friday in response to President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
Appointed by former President Barack Obama, McGurk previously planned to leave his post in February, but he will now depart at the end of December. Defense Secretary James Mattis also resigned this week over foreign policy differences with Trump; he will step down at the end of February.
"The recent decision by the president came as a shock and was a complete reversal of policy that was articulated to us. It left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered," McGurk reportedly said in an email to his staff. "I worked this week to help manage some of the fallout but — as many of you heard in my meetings and phone calls — I ultimately concluded that I could not carry out these new instructions and maintain my integrity."