Deaths of soldiers are always a matter of concern. The American armed forces carry out extensive operations all over the globe and one area of their operation is in Niger, a landlocked country in the heart of West Africa. The country is beset by terrorism and Islamic fighters, owing allegiance to Al Qaeda, have a large force in this region. The US maintains a small military presence in the region of about a thousand soldiers to help train the Nigerien army.

The US army patrol consisting of #Green Berets was a search and information gathering information. It consisted of about 12 soldiers who were being assisted by about 30 soldiers of the Nigerien army.It appears, that this group was ambushed by double the number of insurgents, who were heavily armed with automatic rifles and grenades.

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A battle ensued and though outnumbered and surprised the troops fought well, four US soldiers along with half a dozen Nigerien soldiers were killed. This news is reported by CNN.

Deaths of soldiers

The soldiers were able to kill about 20 of the insurgents but this is small consolation to the men who have died. An inquiry being conducted but preliminary evidence points to a grave lapse in military discipline and intelligence. It appears the soldiers were lightly armed and had no heavy weapons except a machine gun. They were not wearing body armor and their vehicles were sitting ducks as they carried no weapons. The platoon was thus operating in a hostile environment without realizing the gravity of the challenge. The inquiry will probably pinpoint why.

The battle

The battle also appears to have been fought poorly.

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On a request from the soldiers for air support, only a drone appeared, but it was unarmed as all drones in this region are unarmed. It served no purpose. The French jets came after an hour but they could not take any part as the insurgents had lit fires and the pilots were unable to distinguish between friend and foe. Backup troops were requested but only arrived after a few hours of battle. It was a tardy response, to say the least.This has been highlighted by BBC in its commentary.

Trumps 'Benghazi'?

Worse, the body of a soldier was left behind in the melee and was recovered after two days about a mile from the place of the incident. It appears the insurgents were able to split the platoon, proving that they had advance information about the troop movements in the attack area.The Pentagon is concerned about the incident and opponents of Trump, such as Rep.Frederica Wilson are referring to the incident as the "Benghazi" of Trump.