Pentagon’s Second Probe Into 2017 Niger Ambush Advises No Further Reprimands

On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced that its investigation of the 2017 ambush in the African nation of Niger that left four American soldiers dead had been concluded, and that the disciplinary actions already taken against military personnel involved had been deemed adequate.

In March, Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told the House Armed Services Committee he didn’t find the previous review of the Niger ambush “sufficient” and requested a new review “to ensure every aspect of this investigation had been fully considered, including individual accountability.” However, following the revised investigation, Shanahan concluded Wednesday that he is “satisfied that all findings, awards and accountability actions were thorough and appropriate.” 

In October 2017, more than 100 militants believed to be aligned with a local Daesh offshoot, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), attacked and killed four US special forces soldiers, four Nigerien soldiers and an interpreter in an ambush in the village of Tongo Tongo in Tillaberi, Niger, near the border with Mali. The militants opened fire on them with machine guns and destroyed their vehicles with rocket-propelled grenades. The ambush ended when French air support stationed in Mali arrived, sending the militants into retreat.

A report last year by the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), one of 10 unified combatant commands of the United States Armed Forces, found that the deadly mission…

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