Mattis cancels trip to Israel

US Defense Secretary cancels visit to Israel in the wake of his resignation.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Jim Mattis
Jim Mattis

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday cancelled a planned trip to Israel which had been scheduled for next week.

The reason for the cancellation is likely Mattis’ resignation, which he announced on Thursday, and his disagreements with President Donald Trump over the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

Trump announced on Thursday that Mattis will be stepping down at the end of February, thanking him for his service and adding he would name a replacement soon.

Reports in the US said Mattis’ departure was related to Trump's announcement on the withdrawal of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan. According to reports in the Washington Post, Mattis opposed the move and tried to persuade Trump not to go through with it.

In his resignation letter, Mattis had written, "Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down.”

A report on Friday said that Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria was made hastily, without consulting his national security team or allies, and over strong objections from virtually everyone involved in the fight against ISIS.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)