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Niger defense minister asks United States to deploy armed drones against militants

Niger defense minister asks United States to deploy armed drones against militants”

Various reports have emerged of what was going on before the ambush.

Mountari said the team of 12 U.S. Special Forces soldiers and 30 Nigerien troops had been "right up to the Mali border and had neutralized some bandits" just before the ambush took place.

At least one Nigerien official said the kill-or-capture part of the mission brought the US-Nigerien team to the Niger-Mali border - which ABC News described as "a unsafe area known to locals as the 'red zone.'" ABC News also noted that the US State Department recently warned about activity in the area.

The U.S. special forces patrol caught in a deadly ambush in Niger was a kill or capture mission instead of a reconnaissance mission, as U.S. officials first described, ABC News reported Thursday.

Niger's Prime Minister Brigi Rafini said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that American drones were operating in his country to provide "investigation and reconnaissance", but he was willing to allow them to be armed "if we need them for other uses". When they left they were nearly immediately ambushed by a violent force.

Three American defense officials told CNN last week that the USA military and State Department have been seeking permission from the Nigerien government to arm the drones used in Niger, an authority that has already been extended to French forces operating in the country. La David Johnson at his burial service in the Memorial Gardens East cemetery, October 21, 2017 in Hollywood, Fla.

It's unclear why they couldn't join up with some officials saying there was a miscommunication.

Dandou is thought to be behind a number of attacks in Niger and is linked to ISIS and al-Qaeda, according to ABC News. The team then burned all remains before heading back to their vehicles, where they then drove south towards Tongo Tongo to have breakfast.

On their way back to base, they'd stopped in Tongo Tongo, the small village near Niger's border with Mali.

USA soldiers killed during an ambush in Niger on October 4, 2017.

By that point, officials told the network, the soldiers were up for more than 24 hours.

A Nigerien officer told ABC News that he asked for more soldiers and weapons before the raid. "But they were up there so long on a mission that morphed, they were spotted, surveilled and ultimately hit". Sgt. Johnson and three other US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger.

Within 100 yards of leaving the village they were ambushed by some 50 attackers considered highly skilled. Clockwise from top left, Army Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Sergeant La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29. Unable to reach them, some of the Americans went back on foot and in one of the pickup trucks to look for them while Johnson, who was later killed, provided cover by firing with the machine gun mounted on the back of the other pickup truck.

Johnson's body wasn't recovered for two days, adding to a wave of backlash over the White House and Pentagon's response to the mission.



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