A few years ago, U.S. President Donald Trump advocated an operation to eliminate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but refused to do so because James Mattis, who headed the Pentagon at the time, was against such a plan. The American leader said this in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, September 15.
“I thought about trying to eliminate it if I wanted to, but Mattis was against it. Mattis was against most of those things,” Trump said.
The plan to eliminate Assad was developed in 2017, REGNUM notes. Trump said he doesn’t regret not being able to implement it, as there were no guarantees of success.
December 19, 2018 the White House announced a new phase of the military campaign in Syria and the withdrawal of troops from the country. Trump said that the military had achieved its only goal – the victory over the terrorists of the “Islamic State”.
On December 20 of the same year Mattis resigned, reports RNS.
January 1, 2019 Trump agreed to extend the deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops to four months, and later said that he had never been in favor of a hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.