The three U.S. military troops killed in northwestern Africa on Wednesday were most likely ambushed by Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists. But with so many other militant groups wreaking havoc in the region along with the rest of the continent, it was not immediately clear who was responsible for killing the Army Special Forces commandos and wounding two others in Niger, the New York Times reported.
In addition to the U.S. troops, five Nigerien soldiers were killed in the ambush.
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The sneak attack happened near the border of Mali, which Newsweek has described as “the deadliest country for U.N. peacekeepers and a hub for violent extremists fanning across North Africa.” Mali also happens to be the home to at least five other “extremist groups,” according to the State Department’s 2016 report on terrorism in Africa.
While details were still scarce, the terror-based instability could be attributed at least in part to Donald Trump, whose Africa policy was “incoherent,” Forbes reported last month. The president’s strategy could lead to an all-out war in Africa at a time when the U.S. was already facing a nuclear threat from North Korea and strained relations with Russia.
Aside from Al-Qaeda, other renowned terror groups in Africa include the Islamic State group, more commonly known as ISIS, and al-Shabaab, which has terrorized attacks mainly in Nigeria and Somalia, the latter of which is on Trump’s recently updated “travel ban” list.
All three terror groups have two launched major attacks across the vast continent, prompting Trump to deploy troops there to help counter the offensives. In contrast, Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush looked to “train, equip and otherwise support indigenous armies and security forces to fight their own wars instead of having to deploy large American forces to far-flung hot spots,” the New York Times reported in May.
However, “US forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces, including support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts, in their efforts to target violent extremist organizations in the region,” US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, speaking for US Africa Command, told CNN.
The soldiers troops killed Wednesday were part of joint operations with the Nigerien and French militaries. Those operations were still underway Thursday, Reuters reported.
14 American Domestic Terrorist Attacks Since 9/11 [PHOTOS]
1. Las Vegas Shooter (2017)Source:Getty 1 of 14
2. The D.C. SniperSource:Getty 2 of 14
3. Virginia Tech Shooting (2007)Source:Getty 3 of 14
4. Pittsburgh Police Shootings (2009)Source:Getty 4 of 14
5. Gabrielle Giffords Shooting (2011)Source:Getty 5 of 14
6. Aurora Movie Theatre Shooting (2012)Source:Getty 6 of 14
7. Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting (2012)Source:Getty 7 of 14
8. Washington Navy Yard Shooting (2013)Source:Getty 8 of 14
9. Blooming Grove Police Shooting (2014)Source:Getty 9 of 14
10. Overland Park Jewish Community Center Shooting (2014)Source:Getty 10 of 14
11. Las Vegas Police Ambush (2014)Source:Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via Getty Images 11 of 14
12. Umpqua Community College Shooting (2015)Source:Getty 12 of 14
13. Charleston Church Shooting (2015)Source:Getty 13 of 14
14. Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Shooting (2015)Source:Getty 14 of 14
U.S. Troops Killed In Niger Ambush As Terrorism Thrives In Africa was originally published on newsone.com