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What We Know about Niger: 12 Americans vs. 50 ISIS Greater Sahara Members

Florida Rep. Wilson and Trump - arguing about deaths in Niger
Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida and President Donald Trump

In what many are comparing to being a mission as disorganized and unclear as Benghazi, the attack in Niger led to the deaths of four brave American servicemen.



On October 4, Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright died on the Niger-Mali border in a battle with ISIS. There were 12 Americans sent into the mission, and the dozen soldiers faced up to 50 ISIS fighters.

RELATED: Trump Promised $25,000 to Grieving Gold Star Father, Never Followed Through.

According to a U.S. defense official, the 12-member US team were leaving a meeting in unarmored pick-up trucks when they came under attack by ISIS fighters wielding machine guns, small arms, and rocket-propelled grenades.

“She was in tears. She was in tears,” Wilson continued, “And she said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’”

The ambush resulted in a fight that lasted for about 30 minutes. In their unarmored pickup trucks the 12 Green Berets were forced to exit their vehicle, fighting for their lives while being outnumbered fourfold.

French Mirage jets arrived after 30 minutes, not to rescue the American soldiers but to attempt to dispel the fight by passing low over the fighting ground. Multiple U.S. officials have been cited as sources by CNN, who reported that the French aircrafts lacked permission to drop bombs.






Once the soldiers were extracted by American and French helicopters it became clear that Sgt. La David Johnson was not accounted for. Details surrounding how he was separated from the rest of the Green Berets have yet to be released, but U.S. military officials believe that electronic signals may reveal that Johnson was alive in the field when he was separated during extraction.

Tragically, his body was found nearly 48 hours later in a remote area of Niger. Johnson’s body arrived at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on October 7.

Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie insisted that “the search continued until he was found. We never left the battlefield until he was found.”

“Had we anticipated this sort of attack we would have absolutely devoted more resources to it to reduce the risk and that’s something we are looking at right now,” said US Africa Command spokesman Army Col. Mark Cheadle of the “unexpected” attack.



A number of U.S. Senators are questioning the execution of the mission, including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It may require a subpoena,” Sen. McCain told CNN after answering a short “no” to whether he believed the administration were being forward with the facts of this mission.

Meanwhile, President Trump is engaged in a feud with Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson following his phone call to Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, to console her. Rep. Wilson, a Florida Democrat, revealed to reporters that Trump told Mrs. Johnson: “[Sgt. La David Johnson] knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt.” Rep Wilson said she was in the car when the president’s call came through and heard the conversation on a speakerphone.

“She was in tears. She was in tears,” Wilson continued, “And she said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’”

Trump’s call came only a short while after he claimed that President Obama had not often made calls to the families of fallen servicemen, a claim quickly proven to be a lie.

Many have found these alleged comments to be an insensitive, brutish, and un-American response to the death of a serviceman.

In response, President Trump tweeted, “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!”

When asked to clarify the controversy, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, “I am not going to get into the back and the forth. I think the sentiment of the President was very clear, he took the time to make a call to express his condolences, to thank the family for this individual’s service,” she said. “I think it, frankly, is a disgrace of the media to try to portray an act of kindness like that.”




Following this continued argument over who disrespected whom (and whether it mattered), Sgt. La David Johnson’s mother spoke out to clarify whether Wilson’s claims were true. “President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” Cowanda Jones-Johnson told The Washington Post.

While the Trump administration has yet to declare that the opposing fighters in Niger were members of ISIS, CNN has reported that the fighters were part of the ISIS-affiliated group: ISIS in the Greater Sahara.

SEE ALSO: George W. Bush Accuses Trump of Promoting Bigotry, Racism in Stunning Rebuke.

Sgt. La David Johnson was a 25 year old father from Miami Gardens, Florida. Johnson leaves behind two children, ages 2 and 6, and his beloved wife who is pregnant with their third child.

A gofundme fundraiser setup to benefit Sgt. Johnson’s wife and children has raised over $614,000 of the $1,000,000 goal at time of this report.

 

 

Contributor, The Liberal Advocate News

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