US Troops Ambushed in Niger, Africa
Niger, Africa – On October 4, US Troops were ambushed, killing 3 Green Berets and one coalition service member. Two US troops were wounded in the attack and evacuated to Landstuhl, Germany. Both were in stable condition.
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) October 5, 2017
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) October 4, 2017
The attack occurred between 120-130 miles North of Niamey in Southwest Niger.
Terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda have launched attacks from nearby Mali.
There are few American troops in Africa, according to Africom, but are there for “advise and assist” missions since extremist groups like AQIM, Boko Haram, and Al-Shabaab are prevalent.
“U.S. Forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces, including support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) efforts, in their efforts to target violent extremist organizations in the region. One aspect of that is training, advising and assisting the Nigerien in order to increase their ability to bring stability and security to their people.” Africom press release
“However, SOFREP received a tip from a well-placed source within the Special Operations community that the U.S. forces on the ground who were ambushed were a U.S. Army Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA), or a Green Beret ODA.
That Green Beret team came from the 3rd Special Forces Group as 3rd group left for a deployment to central Africa sometime at or shortly after the end of July. With what we now know, their intent was to carry out their continued mission of foreign internal defense (FID) training with Nigerien military as well as advising Nigerien special troops during direct action counter-insurgency operations within Niger.”
The SOFREP article went on to say that the attack occurred in a region of Niger called Tongo Tongo, which is a known hotbed of jihadist activity near the border of Mali. The perpetrators may have been members of an off shoot of AQIM, a group with allegiance to Al-Qaeda which is known to operate in that area. Their article stated that the team may have consisted of 12 Green Berets and 30 Niger service members. They were ambushed by about 40 men, according to the SOFREP source.
A U.S. Army trainer coaches a Republic of Niger soldier on marksmanship techniques at an AK-47 qualification range near Agadez, Niger. (U.S. Army Africa photo by Spc. Craig Philbrick)