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Offbeat 3 Special Forces Troops Killed and 2 Are Wounded in an Ambush in Niger

11:08  05 october  2017
11:08  05 october  2017 Source:   nytimes.com

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WASHINGTON — Three United States Army Special Forces were killed and two were wounded on Wednesday in an ambush in Niger while on a training mission with troops from that nation in northwestern Africa, American military officials said. “We can confirm reports that a joint U.S

WASHINGTON — Three United States Army Special Forces were killed and two were wounded on Wednesday in an ambush in Niger while on a training mission with troops from that A Special Forces soldier died in a vehicle accident in Niger in February. One of the military officials, who spoke

Niger's army convoy arrives in the city of Bosso on June 17, 2016 following attacks by Boko Haram fighters in the region.© ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images Niger's army convoy arrives in the city of Bosso on June 17, 2016 following attacks by Boko Haram fighters in the region.

WASHINGTON —  Three United States Army Special Forces were killed and two were wounded on Wednesday in an ambush in Niger while on a training mission with troops from that nation in northwestern Africa, American military officials said.

“We can confirm reports that a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger,” Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for the United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, said in an email.

All five American soldiers were Green Berets, said two United States military officials. The attack took place 120 miles north of Niamey, the capital of Niger, near the border with Mali, where militants with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, have conducted cross-border raids. Niger’s troops were also believed to have suffered casualties, but details were not immediately known.

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WASHINGTON — Three United States Army Special Forces were killed and two were wounded on Wednesday in an ambush in Niger while on a training mission with troops from that nation in northwestern Africa, American military officials said.

3 special forces troops killed and 2 are wounded in an ambush in niger WASHINGTON — Three United States Army Special Forces were killed and two were wounded

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The deaths mark the first American casualties under hostile fire in a mission in which United States Special Forces have provided training and security assistance to the Nigerien armed forces, including support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. A Special Forces soldier died in a vehicle accident in Niger in February.

One of the military officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss continuing military operations, said American forces were rushing to the scene of the ambush, presumably to evacuate American and Nigerien casualties, and possibly to hunt down the attackers.

President Trump was briefed on the deaths of the Green Berets, said the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

US forces take hostile fire in Niger

  US forces take hostile fire in Niger US troops were attacked near the Niger-Mali border Wednesday, the US military told CNN. "We can confirm reports that a joint US and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger," Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for Africa Command, which oversees US troops in the region, told CNN."We are working to confirm details on the incident and will have more information as soon as we can confirm facts on the ground," Falvo added.

Three US Army Special Forces commandoes and one soldier were killed while conducting a patrol with Nigerien troops in southwest Niger on Wednesday. Two wounded Green Berets were reportedly in "stable condition" and evacuated to Niamey, the country's capital, where they were set to

3 US Special Forces soldiers (known as Green Berets) have been killed in an ambush in Niger while on a Two other Special Forces were also wounded in the attack. We have LIVE BREAKING NEWS COVERAGE US Troops Combat Footage in Afghanistan • Clashes With Taliban • Afghanistan War

Details of the late-afternoon ambush were sketchy. Soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group were assisting their Nigerien counterparts with counterterrorism training when they came under attack in a remote part of the country. As of late Wednesday, there had been no claims of responsibility.

In his first eight months in office, Mr. Trump’s top military officials have shown few signs that they want to back away from President Barack Obama’s strategy to train, equip and otherwise support indigenous armies and security forces to fight their own wars instead of deploying large American forces to far-flung hot spots, including the Sahel, a vast area on the southern flank of the Sahara that stretches from Senegal to Sudan.

And that is what is happening in Niger, a desperately poor, landlocked country twice the size of California that is struggling, even with assistance from the United States and France, to stem a flow of insurgents across Niger’s lightly guarded borders with Mali, Nigeria and Libya.

3 US Green Berets were killed in Niger. Why is the country important in US counterterrorism efforts?

  3 US Green Berets were killed in Niger. Why is the country important in US counterterrorism efforts? The killing of three U.S. commandos in a remote West African desert has focused attention on one of the many places America has boots on the ground to push back against terrorism and train forces that are often worse equipped and trained than the extremists they confront.The incident also underscores the extent to which Niger and several of its troubled neighbors, including Mali and Nigeria, remain a priority in U.S. counterterrorism efforts, although President Donald Trump offered lukewarm support for a French initiative in June to boost international forces in the region.

States Army Special Forces were killed and two were wounded on Wednesday in an ambush in Niger while on a training mission with troops from The deaths represent the first American casualties under hostile fire in a mission in which United States Special Forces have provided training and

Details of the late-afternoon ambush were sketchy. Soldiers from the 3 rd Special Forces Group were assisting their Nigerien counterparts with counterterrorism training when they came under attack in a remote part of the country. As of late Wednesday, there had been no claims of responsibility.

But unlike recent commando raids in Somalia or Reaper drone strikes in Libya, the deadly ambush on Wednesday in a remote desert area came during what American military officials said was a routine training mission — not a combat operation — and yet the casualties suffered by both American and Nigerien forces underscore the inherent risks of operating in a potentially hostile environment.

“These militants have proven remarkably resilient, exploiting local and/or ethnic grievances to embed themselves into communities as well as political borders and differences to escape capture,” said J. Peter Pham, a vice president at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center in Washington. “It was no accident that this attack took place near Niger’s border with Mali, an area that has seen numerous incidents in recent years.”

In May, a member of the Navy SEALs was killed and two other American service members were wounded in a raid in Somalia, the first American combat fatality there since the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” battle.

The government of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger has proved to be a stalwart partner in the United States’ counterterrorism campaign in the Sahel. About a dozen Army Special Forces conduct, train and advise missions at any given time in the country, and just under 100 American military personnel help operate drone operations from the country.

Niger ambush, deaths highlight U.S. Africa military mission creep

  Niger ambush, deaths highlight U.S. Africa military mission creep U.S. special forces soldiers were training their Nigerien counterparts in the West African nation's volatile southwest, a growing hot-bed of jihadist violence, when the report came in of a raid nearby. The assailants were believed to be led by Dondou Chefou, a lieutenant in a new group operating along the Mali-Niger border and called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. A decision was soon taken to pursue them.The assailants were believed to be led by Dondou Chefou, a lieutenant in a new group operating along the Mali-Niger border and called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. A decision was soon taken to pursue them.

The troops were on a routine patrol as part of a training exercise with troops from Niger , American military officials said. The world’s oldest cheese discovered in an ancient tomb, turned deadly.

Three U.S. troops were killed and two wounded Wednesday in an ambush of their joint patrol with local forces in the north-central African state The three killed Wednesday are the first U.S. combat casualties since U.S. forces entered Niger in 2013. In February, a member of the 3 rd Special

Since 2013, unarmed American drones have soared skyward from a secluded military airfield in Niamey, starting surveillance missions of 10 hours or more to track fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda and other militants in Mali.

Over the years, MQ-9 Reapers that have been based there stream live video and data from other sensors to American analysts working with French commanders, who say the aerial intelligence has been critical to their success in driving jihadists from a vast desert refuge in northern Mali.

The United States is building a $50 million drone base in Agadez, Niger. When completed next year, it will allow Reaper surveillance drones to fly from hundreds of miles closer to southern Libya, to monitor Islamic State insurgents flowing south and other extremists flowing north from the Sahel region.


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Militants that attacked US troops in Niger were new to area .
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the Islamic extremists that ambushed and killed U.S. Army commandoes in Niger last week hadn't operated in that area before. Mattis is rejecting suggestions that rescue forces were slow to respond to the assault. But he says the U.S. military is reviewing whether changes should be made to these types of training missions in Africa.U.S. officials have said they believe militants linked to the Islamic State group were responsible for the attack.Three Army commandoes and a soldier were killed when dozens of militants ambushed them during a joint patrol with Niger troops. The U.S.

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