This is coming in in fragments.
Background. We have a small number of US soldiers stationed in Niger to assist in combating Islamist forces in neighboring Mali. Training the Niger military in small unit tactics is one of the missions they undertake.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) October 4, 2017
Breaking: Joint US-Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger – @USAfricaCommand confirms to CNN
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) October 4, 2017
According to the New York Times the casualty count is three US dead and two US wounded:
Three United States Army Special Forces were killed and two were wounded in an ambush in Niger on Wednesday while on a routine patrol with troops they were training from the West African nation, American military officials said.
“We can confirm reports that a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger,” Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for the United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, said in an email on Wednesday.
A United States military official said that the three Army Green Berets were killed in the attack. It took place 120 miles north of Niamey, the capital of Niger, near the border of Mali, where militants with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, have conducted cross-border raids.
Two other Green Berets were wounded, another American military official said. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the casualties publicly.
Right now, the NYT is the only source for this, but if true, it would be pretty significant. That is half of an ODA put out of action in one fire fight. If true, it really asks a lot of tough questions about a lot of things, from intelligence, to operational security, to situational awareness. Sometimes the bad guys get lucky but losing half of an ODA in a fight is probably unprecedented since the Vietnam War.
Officials say the Green Berets were likely attacked by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb militants. https://t.co/7CaFI4YTcV
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) October 5, 2017
This looks derivative from the New York Times article and probably doesn’t move this story forward.
— Herbert Reed – IFBAP (@Herbert_L_Reed) October 4, 2017