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Mattis sends last Christmas message to the troops prior to the withdrawal,

nearvideo President Trump announces defense Secretary James Mattis’ resignation date is the 1. January

Outgoing Secretary of defense James Mattis hold wish you a Merry Christmas “to all you guys and girls the line in 2018” in one of his last messages to America’s troops before his departure from the Trump administration.

“Since Washington crossed the Delaware on Christmas in 1776, the miss American troops to defend a vacation home, our democracy experiment,” said Mattis in the 20-second video message. “To all the boys and girls hold the line in the year 2018, on land, at sea or in the air, thank you for keeping the faith.

“Merry Christmas, and may God keep you safe,” Mattis completed.

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The video was recorded Dec. 19, the day before Mattis in his resignation letter submitted to Trump. On Sunday, Trump announced that Mattis would be leaving the Pentagon on Jan. 1, two months earlier than planned.

Mattis came to protest Trump the decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria. On Sunday, Fox News confirmed that Mattis, the official withdrawal signed contracts, although Pentagon officials refused to discuss the specific timeline for operational safety.

Around 2,000 American troops are currently in Syria.

Officials have told Fox News that the United States has no plans to withdraw the more than 5,000 U.S. troops in neighboring Iraq. Some could be used by those of special forces for raids against “high value targets” in Syria from bases in Iraq, if necessary, officials said.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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