- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2017

President Trump said Wednesday that he didn’t personally authorize the special-operations mission in Niger in which four U.S. soldiers were killed, saying “my generals and my military” have such authority.

Asked by a reporter if he approved the mission on Oct. 4, Mr. Trump replied, “No, I didn’t, not specifically.”

“I have generals that are great generals,” the president said at the White House. “These are great fighters; these are warriors. I gave them authority to do what’s right so that we win. That’s the authority they have. I want to win. And we’re going to win.”

He said the ambush by Islamist extremists in northwest Africa was an unfortunate result of the necessity of fighting the war on terrorism.

“My generals and my military, they have decision-making ability,” the president told reporters. “As far as the incident that we’re talking about, I’ve been seeing it just like you’ve been seeing it. I’ve been getting reports. They have to meet the enemy and they meet them tough and that’s what happens.”

The Army Green Berets were killed when their group was ambushed by about 50 extremists tied to the Islamic State.

Despite the casualties, Mr. Trump said the U.S. is winning the fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

“We are decimating ISIS in the Middle East,” Mr. Trump said. “What’s happening is, they’ll go to parts of Africa, they’ll go to other places. When they get there, we meet them. It’s a dangerous business. It’s a tough war. We’re beating ISIS very badly.”

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