There was no U.S. surveillance drone overhead at the time of the ambush in Niger which killed three U.S. Army Eco-friendly Berets and wounded two others Wednesday, a number of officials common with the subject tell Fox News.
In addition, Fox News has uncovered the lifeless and wounded troopers have been taken from the firefight by French Puma helicopters. Only a single U.S. helicopter was readily available to decide up the Eco-friendly Berets. It is not very clear why it was not made use of.
A senior Marine Corps general declined to comment on the absence of air deal with at a Pentagon information conference Thursday.
“We are not organized to go into facts proper now,” said Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., director of the Joint Staff members.
The Pentagon has built two drone bases inside of Niger, but the regional govt won’t make it possible for armed drone flights to safeguard U.S. troops, in spite of repeated requests from the U.S. armed forces.
Ten Eco-friendly Berets have been component of a schedule joint patrol accompanying Nigerien forces when they have been attacked one hundred twenty miles north of the West African country’s capital, Niamey, close to the border with Mali.
The two wounded specific forces troopers have been flown to a armed forces hospital in Germany in which they are anticipated to get better.
The terror group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb, or AQIM is suspected of carrying out the fatal attack. The U.S. armed forces has been schooling regional forces to combat AQIM and other militants in West Africa for in excess of a 10 years.
U.S. officials tell Fox that ISIS fighters are getting a protected haven in West Africa as they are squeezed out of Syria and Iraq.
“It is unavoidable that individuals will check out to go what individuals get in touch with the coldest corner of the room. They tried out to go to Libya, it didn’t perform out real very well,” Lt. Gen. McKenzie said Thursday.
There are up to six,000 U.S. troops on the African continent, 800 of whom are now on the floor in Niger. Most of all those forces are stationed at the drone bases.
The Condition Department has warned of repeated cross-border assaults and kidnappings by AQIM fighters centered in Mali, in spite of the greatest endeavours of the French armed forces which has battled the terrorist group for several years.
AQIM terrorists have been also powering the fatal 2013 attack on a substantial gas plant in Algeria in which they took hundreds of hostages, which include seven Us citizens, three of whom have been killed.
Months afterwards, the U.S. armed forces agreed to deliver drones to Niger to obtain extra intelligence on the terror group.