Outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis have signed an executive order to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria on December 23, the CNN reported citing defense official.
The officials said that the order determines how and when the withdrawal of US forces from Syria will take place and declined to provide CNN with further details. However, the TV network claimed that the withdrawal will begin in the next several weeks and could take several weeks to finish.
“I just had a long and productive call with President Erdogan of Turkey. We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria, and the slow and highly coordinated pullout of U.S. troops from the area. After many years they are coming home,” Trump said on Twitter earlier.
Mattis, who resigned after disagreeing with Trump on the withdraw from Syria, is set to leave his post by January 1, 2019. His deputy Patrick Shanahan will replace him as acting defense chief.
Few days ago, an U.S. official told the Reuters news agency that the time-frame for U.S. troop pullout from Syria is expected to be between 60 to 100 days. However, Mattis will likely try to delay the move as much as he could before leaving his post.