The U.S. government is undertaking an expansive investigation into the murky circumstances of an ISIS ambush that killed four Green Berets Oct. 4 deep inside Niger.
Pentagon officials have been largely mum on the circumstances of the ambush and the overall U.S. government response has been highly unusual. Anonymously sourced accounts indicate the ambush occurred while a 12 man Green Beret team was on a train, advise, and assist mission with local Nigerien forces.
The team came under fire after a meeting and was pinned down for approximately 30 minutes until French fighter jets were able to reach the area. U.S. soldier Sgt. La David Johnson was separated from his team during the firefight, and his body was not found until two days later.
Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. later told Pentagon reporters partner forces were on the battlefield for nearly two days searching for Johnson’s body before it was found by local tribesmen.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis indicated Thursday that enemy contact was considered “unlikely” given the U.S. military’s past experience in the area and that an investigation was underway. “We in the Department of Defense like to know what we’re talking about before we talk, and so we do not have all the accurate information yet,” he continued, justifying his decision to say little else on the case.
The FBI has now reportedly joined the investigation. The Wall Street Journal notes the FBI is helping to “gather and evaluate evidence about the militants considered responsible for the ambush and how members of the group learned of the joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol.”
The White House also reportedly did not address the ambush or deaths of the soldiers for nearly two weeks despite having a drafted statement on the incident within the National Security Council only days after the incident. White House officials have refused to elaborate why the statement was never put out.
YOU JUST READ A PIECE ABOUT HOW THERE ARE STILL MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS SURROUNDING THE RECENT DEATH OF FOUR GREEN BERETS. NOW WATCH HOW THE WIDOW OF A GOLD STAR FAMILY RECEIVED A WARM CALL FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP OFFERING HIS CONDOLENCES.
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