Pentagon: Second Special Forces Team in Niger Near Ambush Incident

Troops Were 'Involved,' But Details Are Secret

Adding more confusion to the situation in the October 4 ambush in Niger, during which four US special forces were killed, and during which the Pentagon insisted they had no way to get any rescue forces to the area in time, Pentagon officials are now confirming that there was in fact a second special forces team in the same area during the incident.

“There was one (team) that had something to do with this operation, but I’m not going to be able to give you any more specific details,” insisted Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, who is involved in the investigation into the incident.

The ambushed troops were reportedly chasing a “suspect” on a motorcycle until they were led into the ambush area, and unconfirmed reports suggest the second unit was sent out to try to catch the motorcyclist, though it’s not at all clear they actually did.

McKenzie has defended the incident, saying troops have done about 29 patrols before in the same area and never got ambushed during those, so officials assumed they wouldn’t get ambushed in the future.

The Pentagon appears to have totally authorized the US operations in Niger by themselves, with President Trump attributing it to “my generals,” and Congressional officials expressing shock that 1,000 troops were in the country without them being informed.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.