A thorough search in Niger to find a Missing US Soldier comes to an end today. The soldier’s remains were found. The incident happened two days prior when a joint patrol of Nigerian and US troops were attacked. The enemy consisted of a couple dozen Islamic Extremists.
The US even when caught off guard still came out ahead. The US joint Patrol was under fire from 40 to 50 machine guns/grenade launcher wielding extremists. The enemy shooting from 20 motorcycles and a dozen cars would have scared off some, but not this patrol. The US/Nigerian troops outnumbered, courageously returned fire and then called in for local Air Support.
The US Troops were comprised of mostly Army Special Forces which could have greatly contributed to the survival of their patrol.
Eight Nigerian Soldiers and two US Troops were injured and escorted to safety. It is suspected that the Islamic State Group was responsible for the attack.
U.S. special operations forces have been routinely working with Niger’s forces, helping them to improve their abilities to fight extremists in the region. That effort has increased in recent years, the Pentagon said.
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. The first units are expected to deploy in October and all battalions should be on the ground by March 2018.
The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution in June welcoming the deployment, but at U.S. insistence it did not include any possibility of U.N. financing for the force.
That force will operate in the region along with a 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, which has become the deadliest in the world for U.N. peacekeepers, and France’s 5,000-strong Barkhane military operation, its largest overseas mission.