Three American Green Berets were tragically killed and two more wounded when a joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol was ambushed near the Mali-Niger border Wednesday. As details continue to emerge, we take a look at what brings U.S. forces into the West African landlocked country.
The U.S. role in Niger and the surrounding region is often described as a support role, helping local governments with the resources and training to combat global jihadist groups.
According to the State Department, AQIM raises a great deal of its funds through kidnapping for ransom payments and other criminal activity such as arms trafficking, money laundering, and drug trafficking. Additionally, the Algerian government alleges that AQIM receives financial and logistical support from the Iranian regime and the Sudanese government.
Niger and the surrounding region also face threats from the Boko Haram terrorist group, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Forces from Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria are training alongside the U.S. military in response to the terrorist threat.
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