Investigation Into Niger Ambush Heats Up

Oct 20, 2017

The Pentagon is trying to find out what happened after an ambush in Niger left four U.S. special operations soldiers dead. The American soldiers were attacked by Islamic State fighters. The Pentagon is sending a team of investigators to the African nation to determine what happened and to construct a timeline of events. White House Chief of Staff Joh Kelly said, “We need to find out what happened and why.” James Mattis at the Defense Department said, “We at the Department of Defense like to know what we’re talking about before we talk. And so we don’t have all the accurate information yet. We will release it as rapidly as we get it.” American commanders on the ground have been unable to create a comprehensive “story board” detailing the facts and timeline of events. The lack of details “has senior Pentagon officials and lawmakers suggesting incompetence.” In March, the commander of U.S. Africa Command told Congress that “his forces’ lack . . . needed resources on the continent.” He said “there weren’t enough military helicopters to help locate missing, wounded, or killed service members.”