Niger attack leaves 4 us soldiers dead what to know fox news z gas cd juarez

The bodies of some of the Americans killed were recovered by a U.S.-contracted helicopter, a U.S. official previously told Fox News. Sgt. Johnson’s body wasn’t found until two days after the attack as he and some Nigerien soldiers were separated from the others during the battle, the Pentagon said.

According to the report, the four killed “gave their last full measure of devotion to our country and died with honor while actively engaging the enemy.” It said none were captured alive by the enemy and all died immediately or quickly from their wounds. What did the Pentagon say happened?

The Pentagon’s summary lays out a confusing chain of events that unfolded on Oct. 3-4, ending in a lengthy, brutal firefight as 46 U.S. and Nigerien forces battled for their lives against more than 100 enemy fighters. Amid the chaos, the report identified repeated acts of bravery as the outnumbered and outgunned soldiers risked their lives to protect and rescue each other during the more than hour-long assault.

Military officials found that the U.S. forces didn’t have time to train together before they deployed and did not do pre-mission battle drills with their Nigerien partners. And the report found that there was a lack of attention to detail and lax communication about missions that led to a “general lack of situational awareness and command oversight at every echelon.”

According to the report, the Army Special Forces team left their camp on Oct. 3 to go after an Islamic State leader who was suspected of involvement in the kidnapping of an American aid worker. But the team leader and his immediate supervisor submitted a different mission to the higher command, saying they were going out just to meet tribal leaders. That less-risky mission was approved, and when the team got to the location, the insurgent wasn’t there.

Senior commanders, unaware of the team’s earlier actions, then ordered the troops to serve as backup for a second team’s raid, also targeting the leader. That mission was aborted, however, when weather grounded the second team. The original group was then ordered to another location to collect intelligence on the insurgent, which they did without problems.

It was on their way back to the home base when they stopped for water at the village of Tongo Tongo, about 120 miles north of Niger’s capital. There, the group was ambushed by Islamic State-linked militants armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and small firearms.

Mattis has directed Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, head of U.S. Africa Command, to take immediate steps to address shortfalls and has given senior leaders four months to complete a review and lay out a plan for additional changes. Why were troops in Niger?

In 2011, U.S. and French forces set up a counterterrorism force in the country, led by the French, with 4,000 troops and 35,000 Nigerien troops. There were 800 U.S. troops in Niger and 6,000 U.S. troops within 53 countries in Africa, Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last year.

But the presence of American soldiers in Niger reignited a debate about the Authorization for Use of Military Force – a public law enacted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. At issue is whether the law gives the president the authority to take action against all terrorist organizations, not just Al Qaeda and the Taliban. What was the White House’s response?