President Donald Trump has authorized Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to set troop levels in Iraq and Syria without White House approval, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday.

The switch gives the Pentagon more autonomy to determine how many forces are required in the fight against Islamic State.

“The president has delegated authority to the secretary of defense to determine force management levels for Iraq and Syria. No change to current authorized force levels has been made,” said Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White. […]