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More Details About Attack That Killed Four Members Of US Special Operations Forces In Niger


More Details About Attack That Killed Four Members Of US Special Operations Forces In Niger

A combination photo of U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson (L to R), U.S. Special Forces Sgt. Bryan Black, U.S. Special Forces Sgt. Dustin Wright and U.S. Special Forces Sgt. La David Johnson killed in Niger, West Africa, Oct. 4, 2017, in these handout photos released October 18, 2017.

Four members of the US Special Operations Forces were killed in southwest Niger near the Mali-Niger border when a joint US-Nigerien patrol was attacked on October 3.

Pentagon officials have blamed the attack on what they described as self-radicalized, ISIS-affiliated militants. According to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces Joseph Dunford, the US soldiers were accompanying the local military forces and did not expect to meet heavy resistance. They have called in the air support about an hour after the firefight begun. French Mirage jets arrived on the scene approximately one hour later.

Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright died as a result of the October 4 attack. Sgt. La David Johnson was found 48 hours later, as he was apparently separated from the group. He was later identified as the fourth service member killed in the attack.

Reuters reported that the US special forces soldiers abandoned, or at least extended, their more limited mission in Tongo Tongo when they learned of a raid nearby, deciding to engage the attackers themselves, Dunford said there is no indication that the US troops were operating outside their orders at the time of the ambush, although the matter is still being investigated.

“It was planned as a reconnaissance mission. What happened after they began to execute, in other words, did the mission change? That is one of the questions that’s being asked. It’s a fair question but I can’t tell you definitively the answer to that question. But, yes, we’ve seen the reports, we’ve seen the speculation,” Dunford said.

According to US Africa Command spokesman Army Col. Mark Cheadle, the military’s intelligence said it was “unlikely” that the team would run into enemy forces. “Had we anticipated this sort of attack we would have absolutely devoted more resources to it to reduce the risk and that’s something we are looking at right now,” he said.

The US troops had been embedded with a larger unit of Nigerien troops and were attacked as they left a meeting with local community leaders a few dozen kilometres from the remote town of Tongo Tongo.

Some reports claimed US troops were on a mission to kill or capture a high-value target in the area, perhaps even Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the leader of the local faction of fighters that formally pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Reuters news agency reported that the attackers were from al-Sahrawi’s group, which calls itself the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

International Crisis Group reported that jihadist groups have established a presence in the northern Tillabery region, close to Tongo Tongo, through targeted recruitment of young members of the Fulani community – one of the largest ethnic groups in west Africa comprising mostly herders – who are looking for ways to counter their ethnic rivals or protect their businesses or communities.

After the attack, the Pentagon said that the United States has about 1,000 troops in the Chad Basin, about 800 of whom are in Niger. Pentagon officials said the mission in Africa is about training partner nations in counterterrorism.



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  • Jesus

    What are 800 US SOF doing in Niger?

    • Matthew Campbell

      Crushing ISIS souls

      • Jesus

        How many ISIS are in Niger to warrant 800 SOF?
        Are you expecting some migratory patterns from Iraq and Syria via unmarked aircraft to materialize?
        How come US SOF are not crushing ISIS souls in East Syria? They seem to drive in ISIS held territory without being attacked, and their encampments resemble picnic camps.

        • Matthew Campbell

          Guess what, most places we drive we don’t get screwed with. Maybe all you fake keyboard warriors should find out about the real world rather than reading propaganda from the safety of your living room or basement, which ever applies

    • Miguel Redondo

      Niger is the oilrichest country in Africa (with Lybia) . so I think that the US-SOF are preparing the next ISIS-franchise into action.

      • Jesus

        Niger is a different country than Nigeria, they sound similar, Niger oil production is about 80,000 barrels a day, while Nigeria’s is over 2 million; Niger supposedly has some ISIS elements, while Nigeria has Boko Haram, another Islamic offshoot.

        • Miguel Redondo

          You are right , my brain fooled me.

      • Matthew Campbell

        Hey jack ass, find out where the US gets most of her oil from. Hint, it isn’t Niger. And since you are complaining about the greed for oil, are you complaining about all the arab/Kurd jockeying for control of oil resources? Jackass

      • Bolter10

        Nigeria is the richest il producing country in Africa – unless your spelling is incorrect.

        • Miguel Redondo

          Thank you , but I was aware of my mistake shortly after posting.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Training ‘moderate ‘ terrorists :)

      • Jesus

        Creating other proxies to threaten East African countries, and indirectly attack Chinese interests in Africa.

    • Bob

      It would be interesting to see a report on just how many countries the US SOF have been actively operating in throughout 2017. Post the Iraq War (2.0) public relations disaster, US SOF are the new means of US military aggression and foreign intervention, without the need for all that messy public and/ or Congressional disclosure and approval.

      • Jesus

        SOFs are not a potent military force, they provide the means for US to intervene in any country on the pretext of fighting terrorism; their goal is to eliminate high value targets or train various groups that further US agenda. I see them deploying SOFs wherever China has vested interests. I see China reciprocating in kind, considering the sizable investments they have in Africa.

        • Ivan Freely

          China have SOF operating inside Africa?

  • Ernst Lindenberg

    Johnson was a 39 year old chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist with more than a dozen awards and decorations. So you can now more easily estimate what kind “grunt” he was. Teaching ISIS/Jihadist how to handle WMD?

    • Matthew Campbell

      Jackass, he was a Special Forces operator. Guess what, they don’t handle those sort of weapons, jackass.

    • Vitex

      Like I said, seems more likely he was in Idlib….

  • Kennethllindsy

    There should be more information from French sources, as the Pentagon is not being clear about what happened.

    • John

      I agree Kenneth. I feel that Gen Dunford is a bit tongue tied and seems to be doing some form of rug dance, to get around something big. As more details come out, it will probably become clear that this fire-team was not walking around taking in the scenery.

  • FlorianGeyer

    Lets we forget a US Military success against unbelievable odds.


    North Korea will be a Walk in the Park for the US military :)

  • isoko

    Nigeria is oil richest african country and Niger is uranium richest !
    and the region these guys are talking about is located between those countries
    of Cameroon, Nigeria, Tchad … or the region mostly infested with with so called Boko-Haram
    or the African ISIS.

    Funny how the pretext is always the same, everywhere on the planet, always chasing some ghosts, poor lads !

    , https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/846595fcee0e30fc5fae1c04c5beab2f880a2bba3ceb3c97272cf250ab176c88.gif

    • Amon -Ra- DeArmond

      rip Eritrea and south Sudan

  • Mountains

    This is what I was refering to earlier. The US has overly invested in this war on terror. They have already used about 10-trillion USD aside from having gigantic debt.

    They will soon equal the GDP. They have done alot of things to cut interest rates, to Health care etc etc just to make room for the finances of this war.

    The US economy and Dollar could very likely crash due to this war and something that has happened to the soviet union already.

    They are funding and paying for the entire military expenses of Afghanistan and Iraq governments which is drying the wallet.

    They are chasing ghosts and dropping 10-trillion dollars just like that. Very elusive insurgencies that can pop-up anywhere in the world who are basically opportunists and have nothing to lose at the end of the day.

    They are fighting this war on more fronts then it’s reported they are currently militarily active and in war in about 8 countries

    • FlorianGeyer

      ” The US has overly invested in this war on terror. ”

      All the evidence points to the US actually investing in Terror.

      • Tudor Miron

        War on terror was a perfect pretext to redeploy irregular armed forces (Queda/Daesh, etc) and engage sovereign countries from all possible front – sanctions, internal jihadist warfare supported by US air/intelligence/arms/training/funding support. This leads to operatives losses in large numbers like after Idlib – there are so many that US has problems legalizing their deaths.

    • hhabana

      Trump disappointingly continues business as usual increasing even greater expenditures on military.

  • Vitex

    I find it much more likely that they were killed in, say, Idlib. Like the A-10s that “crashed in training in Nevada” or something.