Pentagon Opens Niger Ambush Probe, Seeking Details on What Happened

AFRICOM Seeking More Troops, Equipment Across Continent

On October 4, US special forces were ambushed in Niger, near the Mali border. Four troops were killed, but what exactly happened? The Pentagon now says they’ll open a probe to try to figure that out.

Four US soldiers killed in Niger

Initially the incident was presented as a “patrol,” but since it’s been suggested the US troops were visiting a tribal elder in the area, in unarmored vehicles, and got ambushed after the fact. They’re also crediting French troops for helping with the rescue.

Which African Command (AFRICOM) is using to claim they need more troops and equipment across the continent as “rescue assets.” They note Niger couldn’t have rescued them, and if France wasn’t right there, the whole unit could’ve been wiped out.

Which is a convenient excuse to escalate across Africa, though at present the Pentagon is still offering no transparency on why they’re in Niger in the first place, or what the circumstances of the incident were.

This gives AFRICOM the ability to spin this however they want, and instead of questioning why US troops are in harm’s way in random countries like Niger, officials seem to hope they’ll just get more funding.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of