Reason not provided ret. Army Col. Derek Harvey's unexpected removal

A top White House official was removed Thursday from his post on the National Security Council (NSC), by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

The NSC had no explanation for Retired Army Col. Derek Harvey's removal in a statement sent to Anadolu Agency, but said the Trump administration, "is working with Colonel Harvey to identify positions in which his background and expertise can be best utilized.

"General McMaster greatly appreciates Derek Harvey's service to his country as a career Army officer, where he served his country bravely in the field and played a crucial role in the successful surge in Iraq, and also for his service on Capitol Hill and in the Trump administration," NSC spokesman, Michael Anton said.

The colonel was President Donald Trump's top aide on Middle East policy.

Harvey said in a statement he would "take advantage of a new opportunity to continue serving" the president.

"I am excited about the opportunities to advance American interests in the Middle East under President Trump's leadership, and I look forward to shouldering greater responsibilities in support of the President," Harvey said.

Harvey's new role remains unclear.

The retired colonel was put on the NSC by former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who was forced out of office amid scandal.

McMaster, his successor, is allegedly removing Flynn loyalists from the council amid mounting reports of in-fighting at the White House.

During his time in the post, Harvey was reportedly hawkish on Middle East policy, arguing for a more militaristic approach to the Syrian conflict and a harder line with Iran.

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