On May 17, Pentagon released a 23-minute video over an ambush in Niger, which resulted in killing of US soldiers, providing an overview of what went wrong then.
On October 4, 2017 two US Army Special Forces soldiers and two other members of the service attached to elements of the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Niger died after their convoy was attacked by armed militants from the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) near the village of Tongo Tongo. The ambush triggered a political debate over the presence of American troops in Africa.
The video included a digital recreation of the events with both file footage of US military activities in Africa and actual photographs and clips from the mission itself. The presentation contained a number of details that the Pentagon hadn’t provided at the initial briefing on October 23 nor at the final investigation’s conclusion in May 2018.
One disclosure showed that after the fight began, Nigerien quick reaction force fired at US and Nigerien forces mistaking them for ISGS terrorists. Realizing their failure, Nigerien quick reaction stopped the fire. Luckily, no one was injured.
The footage also revealed that US and Nigerien forces destroyed their radio equipment, to prevent any communication with French pilots flying Mirage 2000 fighter jets, which could be the first friendly forces to arrive on the scene. The French aircraft did not directly engage the ISGS terrorists fearing to hit the Americans and Nigeriens on the ground, who they could not easily distinguish from the hostile force.
The aircraft chased off some of the militants by flying at a low level. American personnel was also observed on the ground.
People were signaling to French helicopters that had spent about 40 minutes to identify the location of the remaining friendly forces.
The footage showed that the US aircraft manufacturing company Erickson Inc. and the US charter airline Berry Aviation were responsible for the helicopters that had come to take away killed Americans.
The video identified the so-called Special Operations Command and Control Element (SOCCE) in Chad as being in charge of operations in the Lake Chad Basin.
Besides, the video clarified some moments of the incident, it still leaves many questions about the mission and activities of the US forces in North and West Africa. For months, the Pentagon was emphasizing that US forces had been only providing the intelligence of the area. However, recently provided information points out that the 6,000 page report must be reviewed.