By Debbie Gregory.
Last October, some 50 militants affiliated with the Islamic State launched an ambush in Niger against a U.S.-Nigerien patrol, comprised of 12 Americans and 30 Nigeriens, as they were en route to their base. The militants were armed with machine guns, small arms and rockets.
Now a propaganda video believed to have been shot from the helmet of one of the soldiers who was killed has been released by the terrorist group.
Army staff sergeants Bryan Black, Jeremiah Johnson, La David Johnson and Dustin Wright and five Nigerien soldiers were killed in the fight.
The video reveals heartbreaking details about the courageous last moments of the four soldiers, although it is edited with multiple cuts that make the full context of the firefight unclear.
The helmet cam portion of the video began with the U.S. forces being pinned down under gunfire next to a tactical truck and a Toyota Landcruiser. Together with a few Nigerien allies, the U.S. soldiers began to move with each vehicle toward colored smoke grenades that had been deployed for cover and to alert air support. Unfortunately, it would be two hours before French jets arrived to provide air support, too late to save these brave men.
As the video ends, the clip cuts to a scene of several ISIS members on motorbikes and other vehicles.
President Trump’s condolence call to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson dominated the news for the better part of a week, opening up a rift between the president and the fallen soldier’s family. The family’s congresswoman, Frederica Wilson, jumped into the fray as well, questioning Trump’s treatment of Gold Star families.