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New anti-ISIS envoy previously supported military presence in Syria

James Jeffrey. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The State Department announced Friday that Ambassador James Jeffrey will take over as special envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, replacing Brett McGurk, who resigned in protest over President Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

The big picture: Jeffrey previously served as deputy national security adviser for President George W. Bush and opposed President Obama's withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. At a State Department briefing in November, Jeffrey supported the U.S.' military presence in Syria until proper de-escalation of the conflict can be achieved: "[Y]ou cannot have an enduring defeat of ISIS until you have fundamental change in the Syrian regime and fundamental change in Iran’s role in Syria."

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