The Department of Defense released a new video detailing the Niger ambush on a convoy of 46 US and Nigerian troops that resulted in four American soldiers being killed. The video includes footage from an aerial drone that shows US and Niger forces desperately trying to evade over 100 ISIS militants. The new details also revealed that the Nigerien troops arriving to aid the ambushed troops mistook them for the enemy and fired automatic weapons at the US and their own Niger forces for 48 seconds before positively identifying them.
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Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/19885-Warning-Graphic-Video-ISIS-Ambush-Of-US-Soldiers-In-Niger-October-2017">Warning Graphic Video - ISIS Ambush Of US Soldiers In Niger, October 2017</a>
The video describes how the troops set up a defensive location on the edge of a swamp and thinking that they were about to be overrun and killed, they sent farewell messages to loved ones. The video shows the harrowing hours the troops spent trying to hold off the enemy while they waited for rescue. At one point, two US unmanned and unarmed aerial vehicles arrive and take video of the incident as well as establish communications with the ground troops.
A short time after the drones arrive, two French fighter jets also come to help, but they are unable to identify which troops were friendly and which were the enemy. Ultimately the two fighters buzzed the location in a show of force but did not fire any weapons. The arrival of the aircraft did deter the majority of the ISIS militants pursuing the ground troops long enough for them to be rescued.
Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/25722-Niger-Ambush-Pentagon-Finds-Multiple-Faults-Leaves-Overall-Mission-Unchanged">Niger Ambush - Pentagon Finds Multiple Faults, Leaves Overall Mission Unchanged</a>
During the confusion of the escape, four US soldiers were separated from the main convoy. Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia were all killed by the ISIS militants. The DoD confirms they died fighting and were not found with their hands bound or captured alive.
A 6,000-page report released of the investigation revealed that the US-led mission was not duly authorized. Those who put the mission request in described it as a reconnaissance mission despite having intentions of seeking out a high-level ISIS commander who was supposed to be in the area. The DoD said that the mission should have had been better described which would have allowed it to be properly authorized and the necessary resources would have been aware of the dangerous mission.
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