By IZABELLA FELPETO
The U.S. Department of Defense continues to investigate a more accurate account of events for the attacks in Niger.
On Oct. 3, 12 members of the U.S. Special Operations Task Force and 30 Nigerian forces left Niger’s capital, Niamey, to travel to a small village near Tongo Tongo, to complete a mission for the purpose of gaining information. The following day, U.S. soldiers and the Nigerien forces were ambushed by an Isis-affiliated group composed of 50 attackers.
Two hours after the attack, French Mirage jets came to assist the soldiers. Questions remain about why the soldiers waited an hour into the fight to call for help.
“But it’s important to note that when they didn’t ask for support for that first hour, my judgment would be that that unit thought they could handle the situation without additional support,” said Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford during a briefing at the Pentagon on Monday. “And so, what we’ll find out in the investigation exactly why it took an hour for them to call.”
Information is still pending about why the mission in Niger went wrong, leaving four U.S. soldiers dead, two soldiers injured and five Nigerien troops dead.
Even after the most updated timeline of events were released, it is uncertain why fallen solider Sgt. David Johnson’s body was left unrecovered for two days.
“We owe the families of the fallen more information and that’s what the investigation is designed to identify,” said Dunford.
The U.S. Africa Command is continuing a thorough investigation of what happened.