Pentagon: Americans deserve more information on Niger attack
by Evan Wilt
Posted 10/23/17, 05:43 pm
WASHINGTON—Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, promised on Monday to provide more details about the Oct. 4 attack in Niger that left four U.S. service members dead. But during an afternoon news conference he offered little new information about what he called a “complex” situation. “We owe the families and the American people transparency and we intend to deliver just that,” Dunford said. At least 800 U.S. soldiers are in Niger supporting a French-led mission to defeat regional terror groups Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram. Dunford said the four soldiers were on a reconnaissance mission and the ambush came from local tribal fighters associated with ISIS. Several lawmakers said over the weekend they didn’t know the United States even had a military operation in Niger, although U.S. troops have been in the country off and on for 20 years. Dunford promised to double his communication effort to Congress. The Pentagon has an investigation underway to give a detailed report to the families of the fallen service members. Many questions still remain, Dunford said, and he expects to answer those at the end of the investigation, which does not have a deadline. One pending inquiry will focus on why it took two days to recover Sgt. La David Johnson’s body after the attack.
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Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.