Niger: The Quiet War On Terror Americans Rarely Hear About
On Feb. 20, 2013, the Pentagon would deploy 40 troops to Niger, to conduct reconnaissance flights, set up a drone base, and facilitate intelligence-gathering for French forces locked in a grueling battle with al Qaeda-affiliated militants in neighboring Mali. The deployment brought the total number of U.S. military personnel in the West African republic Undisclosed, purposes for specific forces were setting up shop there, the troops were deploying combat-ready “for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security.”
Four and a half years later, American troops are dying in Niger. On Oct. 5, U.S. Africa Command announced that four Army Green Berets with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group out of Fort Bragg were killed and two wounded in an ambush (a partner nation member was killed as well) while “providing advice and assistance to Nigerian security force counter-terror operations” 200 kilometers north of the capital city of Niamey, on the Niger-Mali border.
U.S. Africa Command has yet to release details on the nature of the attack, but that those al Qaeda militants in Mali have repeatedly conducted border incursions into northern Niger in recent months.
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