New Pentagon chief discusses Syria with Pompeo, Bolton
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New Pentagon chief discusses Syria with Pompeo, Bolton

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan started his new job January 1, after resignation of predecessor Jim Mattis over Trump’s Syria withdrawal announcement

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan arrives at the Pentagon for the first time in his official capacity, on January 2, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP)
Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan arrives at the Pentagon for the first time in his official capacity, on January 2, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP)

WASHINGTON — Top advisers to US President Donald Trump met at the Pentagon on Thursday to discuss Syria and other topics, a defense official said.

The meeting was the first of its kind for Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who started his new job January 1 following the resignation of his predecessor Jim Mattis.

According to a senior defense official, Shanahan met with National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

They “discussed a wide variety of topics to include Syria,” the official said.

Mattis quit last month after Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, even though the Islamic State still has thousands of fighters in the country and a US pullout would leave Kurdish fighters vulnerable to attack by Turkey.

Shanahan must oversee how the US pulls more than 2,000 troops out of Syria.

Various timelines have been floated, but Trump on Wednesday seemed vague, saying only that it would happen “over a period of time.”

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