WASHINGTON – Green Berets working with government forces in Niger killed 11 militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in a firefight in December, the U.S. military acknowledged for the first time Wednesday. The battle occurred two months after four U.S. soldiers died in an ambush in another part of Niger — and after senior commanders had imposed stricter limits on military missions in the West African country.
No U.S. or Nigerien forces were harmed in the December gun battle. But the combat — along with at least 10 other previously unreported attacks on U.S. troops in West Africa between 2015 and 2017 — indicates that the Oct. 4 ambush was not an isolated episode in a nation where the U.S. is building a major drone base.
After the ambush, senior officers at U.S. Africa Command, which oversees U.S. military operations on the continent, imposed measures to enhance the safety of troops on missions that were designed to train and advise local forces. But the missions did not end.
The head of Africa Command, Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, did not mention the incident to Congress this month. A senior House Republican aide said lawmakers had been notified about the attack after it happened.
New York Times