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Four Green Berets dead, more injured after being ambushed in Niger

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group, participate in 1st Spec Ops Support Squadron HAVE ACE training in Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Pick)
October 04, 2017

UPDATE: Oct. 6, 2017, 4:30pmEST: U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has released that a fourth Green Beret was killed in the ambush that killed three other Green Berets and injured two others.

AFRICOM released:

We have updated information related to the attack on U.S. and Nigerien forces that occurred on October 4th in southwest Niger. The body of another U.S. Service Member has been recovered from the area of attack, bringing the number of U.S. Service Members killed in this attack to four.

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) reported On October 4th, that a joint U.S. and Nigerian patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger.

Jake Tapper tweet (Twitter)

AFRICOM stated:

On Oct. 4, three (3) U.S. service members and one partner nation member were killed while the U.S. was providing advice and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations, approximately 200 km north of Niamey, in southwest Niger. Additionally, two U.S. service members were injured and evacuated in stable condition to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

Names are being withheld as part of the next of kin notification process.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the fallen service members.

U.S. Forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces, in their efforts to counter violent extremist organizations in the region.

The commandos were likely attacked by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb militants.

Stars & Stripes tweet (Twitter)

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is an off-shoot of al-Qaida.

President Dondal Trump has been briefed on the ambush by Chief of Staff Marine Gen. John Kelly.

Map showing Niamey, Niger (Google Maps)


The New York Times reported more on the U.S. drone operations in the country:

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.

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.