Fourth US Soldier Confirmed Dead After Niger Attack

US Soldiers Killed In Ambush In Niger

Eight Niger soldiers and two US soldiers were wounded, according to a statement by Niger's Army Chief of Staff. Two American troops were wounded. It withheld publication of this information at the request of the Pentagon, which maintained that its rescue and recovery effort would be jeopardized.

USA military officials told CNN one service member was missing until his body was found in southwest Niger. It declined to release a name, pending notification of his family.

According to the New York Times, those killed were special forces soldiers and were the first Americans to die as a result of hostile fire since the US Africa Command deployed in Niger.

No group has taken responsibility for the killings, although the United States suspects that a local branch of Islamic State was responsible.

The Department of Defense (DOD) has just confirmed the death of a U.S. service member who was missing in action after the hellish firefight the Green Beret team assigned to the U.S. Army's 3rd Special Forces Group.

The government announced Friday that 39-year-old Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson of Springboro died in the attack.




USA officials say they believe extremists linked to ISIS were responsible for the attack about 200 kilometers north of Niger's capital of Niamey. France, the most active Western force in the region, intervened in Mali in January 2013 after several Islamist militias conquered half the country, armed with weapons stolen from the military of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi when he fell. "This is about black market resources which terrorists use to gain revenue that helps them recruit, expand and export attacks", the official said.

Terrorist groups-including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and ISIS-have reportedly been traveling across the Niger-Mali border to trade black market goods to help finance their activities. Four Niger security forces were also killed.

The U.S. has been running Operation Flintlock, an annual counterterrorism operation with regional forces in the Sahel region since 2005 and operates an air base near Niamey, the Nigerien capital, flying drone missions since 2014.

The U.S. Africa Command offered few details on Wednesday's attack about 124 miles north of Niamey near the Mali border.

Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad are putting together a 5,000-strong G5 Sahel force to fight the growing threat from extremists in the vast Sahel region.

At least four Nigeriens were also killed and, according to one Niger security source, militants seized four vehicles in the ambush.

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