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US defence secretary to step down in February

The US Defence Secretary James Mattis is set to resign from his post at the end of February next year. It appears the resignation comes amid a clash over policy with President Trump - in his resignation letter to the President, General Mattis said that he deserved a defence secretary "whose views are better aligned with yours". 

The announcement also came a day after it was announced that US troops were to be pulled from Syria.

A tweet by Donald Trump said "General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years."

A replacement for General Mattis is expected to be announced shortly. 

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