USA senators seek answers on Niger ambush, military operations

USA senators seek answers on Niger ambush, military operations”

In all, the US military has about 6,000 personnel in 53 African countries, Dunford said. He also pledged to share more information about USA troops' mission on the African continent. A total of 1,300 US special forces are deployed in Africa. It has also carried out attacks in Tunisia and briefly claimed a town in Somalia.

The attack earlier this month, which US officials suspect was carried out by a local ISIL affiliate, has thrown a spotlight on the USA counterterrorism mission in Niger, which has about 800 US troops. Dunford vowed the US will remain, despite the four fatalities in Niger.

Four Americans, including a USA ambassador, were killed in the 2012 terror attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, and led to years-long inquiries and criticism of Barack Obama and then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton over their handling of the aftermath.

The ISIS affiliate in the area that stretches across six African countries from Senegal to Chad is overshadowed by more dominant radical Islamist groups, in this case Al-Qaeda's affiliates-Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar Dine and al-Mourabitoun.

Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Monday that the troops did not call for help from French special forces until an hour after coming into contact with the enemy in Niger.

On Sunday, he again attacked a Democratic lawmaker who criticised a condolence call he made to one of the fallen soldiers' wives.

The June letter also referenced US activity in Somalia against the terrorist group al-Shabab, the basing of USA forces in Djibouti for actions in the region, and the better-known actions in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. He would not comment on whether it was armed or not.

Lindsey Graham said McCain, his friend and frequent ally, would be working to solve the problem of insufficient information when USA military personnel are killed overseas. "I don't know what's in that box; it could be empty for all I know. I don't know what their initial assessment was of what they were confronted with". "Not only to stay more informed but to focus on why we're there and what happened to get to the bottom of this", Casey told CNN on Monday. Official figures show more than 1,300 of the troops are deployed there.

"We need to look at this carefully". Whether the nature of the mission changed from reconnaissance to something else and whether the United States has enough intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance support in the region, will be answered in the investigation, he said.

McCain added: "There's a mindset over there that they're a unicameral government".

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