Trump regularly repeats inaccurate claims about payments to Iran. According to the website Politifact, the $1.8bn figure is a slight exaggeration of a transfer that covered an order for military equipment made before the 1979 revolution and thus never fulfilled. The attack on McGurk echoed remarks by Mulvaney and other aides. He was appointed as Isis envoy by Barack Obama in 2015 but his first senior jobs as a diplomat, on Iran and Iraq, were under George W Bush. Senators asked Trump to withhold a final decision on Syria for 90 days. But on Monday the Pentagon confirmed that Mattis had signed the withdrawal order. No operational details were provided. On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “President Erdoğan of Turkey has very strongly informed me that he will eradicate whatever is left of Isis in Syria … and he is a man who can do it plus, Turkey is right ‘next door’. Our troops are coming home!” In Syria, Turkish troops were reported to be concentrating near Manbij, a town held by Kurdish fighters.