The US Army team that was ambushed in Niger was gathering intelligence on a terrorist leader operating in the area when it was attacked, two military officials told CNN on Tuesday.
The officials said the unit was not under orders to conduct a kill or capture mission on the leader, since such missions are typically reserved for other elite special operations forces teams.
The new details come a day after Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters that the troops were on their way back to their operating base when they were ambushed by 50 ISIS fighters.
Four US and five Nigerien soldiers were killed and two Americans were wounded in the attack that occurred on October 4, but details of what happened remain murky more than two weeks after the incident as investigators work to determine precisely what happened, a US official has told CNN.
CNN also learned Tuesday that the Green Beret team was on one of their first patrols in the country after arriving just weeks earlier, according to two US defense officials.
That answers one question. Still it sounds like a SNAFU operation. Where was the support? The back-up? Why was Johnson’s body not air-lifted with the others? Why was his body found one mile away?