A U.S. Special Forces mission that resulted in the deaths of four American soldiers and four Nigerien soldiers was plagued by problems up and down the chain of command but was ultimately done in by an unprecedented show of force at the hands of an Islamic State-linked terror group, an investigation found.
The findings are part of a long-awaited report released Thursday on what went wrong during a two-day span in October 2017 near the village of Tongo Tongo, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of the Nigerien capital, Niamey.
“I take ownership,” General Thomas Waldhauser, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, told reporters at the Pentagon. “I will ensure the lessons learned are communicated to all levels within AFRICOM.”
The report, six months in the making, includes thousands of pages of notes gathered by military investigators who returned to the site of the ambush, examining forensic evidence and talking to 143 witnesses, including 37 survivors of the ambush itself.