Top Trump Middle East adviser fired for unknown reasons

One of US President Donald Trump’s top advisers on the Middle East has been fired.

Two administration officials with knowledge of the decision said Derek Harvey was fired Thursday for unknown reasons. They were not authorized to discuss private personnel issues and spoke on condition of anonymity

The White House would not say whether Harvey was fired, but confirmed he will no longer serve as the top Middle East adviser.

A statement said National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster “greatly appreciates Derek Harvey’s service to his country as a career army officer” and that “the administration is working with Colonel Harvey to identify positions in which his background and expertise can be best utilized.”

Harvey was hired by Trump’s former national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn.

In recent months Harvey had complained in private about his waning influence as he wrestled with competing US interests in Syria and elsewhere.

Hawkish on Iran — thanks to experience countering Shiite militias in Iraq — he also viewed the fight against the Islamic State terror group as a key US priority.

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