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Sen. Ben Cardin: Senate Wants Details on Niger Ambush

Sen. Ben Cardin: Senate Wants Details on Niger Ambush
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By    |   Monday, 30 October 2017 11:59 AM

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis will face tough questions in the Senate Monday when they testify on the ambush in Niger that killed four U.S. soldiers earlier this month, according to a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the senior Democrat on the committee, told CNN that the panel wants "to know what went wrong and what happened."​

"The basic points we're going to want to find out is under what authority are we … in Africa," he added.

U.S. troops have been in Africa since 2008 to help local forces in the fight against al-Qaida and other terrorists. About 800 to 1,000 Americans are in Niger. The four U.S. soldiers died in an Oct. 4 ambush while they were traveling with Nigerien troops as part of a mission led by U.S. Green Berets near the West African nation's border with Mali.

That area "is known to host groups loyal to both al-Qaida and the Islamic State and has long been used as a smuggling route for arms, drugs and people," The New York Times reported.

Cardin said Congress needs to update the authorization for U.S. troops to serve in Africa to prevent "mission creep."

"The question is what is your game plan? How do we bring this to an end? What type of military force does congress need? Congress should update it and be specific about it," Cardin told CNN.

Tillerson and Mattis are due to appear before the committee at 5 p.m.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis will face tough questions in the Senate Monday when they testify on the ambush in Niger that killed four U.S. soldiers earlier this month, according to a member of the Senate Foreign Relations...
ben cardin, senate, details, niger, ambush
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2017-59-30
Monday, 30 October 2017 11:59 AM
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