Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism | green beret | niger | ambush | soldiers

CNN: Slain Green Berets Wearing T-Shirts, Not Army Gear

(CNN's "OutFront")

By    |   Thursday, 26 October 2017 08:18 PM

Four Green Berets ambushed by Islamic State terrorists in Niger were not wearing flak jackets or helmets, but instead T-shirts and baseball caps — and only one was armed with a machine gun, CNN reported Thursday.

The soldiers were driving a 4x4 SUV, CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon reported, citing an interview with a Nigerian soldier who was among one of the first on the scene of the battle.

He talked with Nigerian soldiers who had been wounded in the attack, she reported. He had served in the area for at least five years.

In addition, one Defense Department official told CNN the ISIS fighters were "heavily armed," Erin Burnett reported.

Further, Damon reported the Nigerian soldier told her the U.S. Army service members had been separated — finding two shot to death in the back seat of their vehicle.

Another Green Beret was found lying dead under nearby brush, she reported.

The Oct. 4 ambush killed Staff Sgts. Bryan Black, 35, and Dustin Wright, 29; and Sgts. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, and La David Johnson, 25.

They were among 12 members of a U.S. special operations task force who were returning along with 30 Nigerien partnered forces from an overnight reconnaissance mission, according to Pentagon officials.

They had traveled from the capital city of Niamey to about 50 miles north, near the village of Tongo Tongo, and were returning when the attack occurred, officials said.

"If we just look at the terrain, it's hard to imagine if there was any place where any of those soldiers could take cover and really try to defend themselves against this assault now," Damon told Burnett, reporting from Niamey.

The ISIS attackers first ambushed the U.S. soldiers with eight vehicles, causing the convoy to split up, she said.

Then, "dozens of other fighters arrived on motorcycles — and that is the point at which the casualties began to get fairly severe," Damon said the Nigerian soldier told her.

"When this soldier arrived on scene, along with the three U.S. soldiers who were killed, he also says that he saw the bodies of three Nigerian soldiers who were further in the brush.

"He said that he did not, interestingly, see any bodies of the attackers, but just streaks of blood," Damon told Burnett.

"He also noticed that it seemed as if some of the brush was still smoldering — villagers telling his unit that the attackers had actually set some of the landscape on fire to create a smoke screen to allow them to then escape."

Damon said the Nigerian solider told her more U.S. soldiers arrived overnight — after three of the slain Green Berets had been recovered — "still trying to look for the body of Sgt. La David Johnson.

"They did not find him until very next day."

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Four Green Berets ambushed by Islamic State terrorists in Niger were not wearing flak jackets or helmets, but instead T-shirts and baseball caps, and only one was armed with a machine gun, CNN reported Thursday.
green beret, niger, ambush, soldiers
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2017-18-26
Thursday, 26 October 2017 08:18 PM
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