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07 March 2018, 07:22 | Tara Lloyd
ISIS propaganda video shows US soldiers under attack in Niger
A propaganda video released by the Islamic State appears to show a deadly militant ambush in Niger a year ago that killed four USA soldiers who engaged in fierce combat against superior firepower.
An investigation into the incident was completed by the U.S. Africa Command and the report is now being reviewed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, according to Manning.
It shows three USA soldiers trying to fight off dozens of militants armed with machine guns and grenades. When one man falls, presumably shot, his peers try to drag him to cover. Although a small number of U.S forces have been in Niger for years, most Americans had no idea that the US military is operating there, or why.
Since the October ambush, numerous contradictory reports have surfaced of the events leading up to it.
The fallen soldiers were reportedly part of a 12-member Army Special Forces unit that was accompanying about 30 Nigerian troops when they were ambushed by up to 50 militants.
The investigation finds no single point of failure leading to the attack, which occurred after the soldiers learned Chefou had left the area, checked his last known location and started for home.
Two other American soldiers and eight Nigerien troops were wounded in the violent gun battle, which was partially recorded on one soldier's helmet camera. La David Johnson killed in Niger, West Africa, Oct. 4, 2017.
It is still unknown why the video, which was released on messaging app Telegram, was still unpublished until now.
The video includes footage from the soldiers' helmet cameras that was later captured by the Islamic State.
The video then cuts to footage of several armed militants running in a desert area.
The video begins with images of an alleged pledge of commitment to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by members of the al-Qaeda-linked, Sahel-based group Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), and then seems to suggest that the attack was made by IS militants. The jihadis continue to fire at him, even as they approach his motionless body at point-blank range and blood is seen spilling onto the ground. The results are expected to be released this month.
A helmet camera worn by one of the American soldiers recorded the ambush. The clip opens with footage of the militants riding on the back of trucks bearing the flag of ISIS and heading toward what may have been the site of the ambush.
French air support arrived two hours after the ambush started, but US troops didn't call for air support until one hour after the attack, possibly due to communications issues. When asked when that would happen, Waldhauser said, "I don't know".
On Monday, Islamic State supporters posted a nine-minute long video of the ambush online.
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