The Latest: Senator says Niger ambush part of bigger debate
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the four service members killed in Niger (all times local):
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says an examination of U.S. military involvement around the world needs to be a part of the discussion around this month’s fatal ambush of four U.S. soldiers in Niger.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee tells NBC’s “Today” that what happened in Niger will launch a bigger debate that was already under way.
Corker says his committee will hold hearings on the matter.
He adds that it may be time for Congress to update the rules for U.S. military engagement with terrorists across the globe. Corker notes that U.S. soldiers are operating under rules first put in place in 2001 — after the 9/11 attacks.
The top U.S. general says four U.S. special operations forces died in Niger (nee-ZHEHR’) Oct. 4 amid a “complex situation” and a “difficult firefight.”
Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, says the American people, including the families of the fallen soldiers in Niger, deserve answers about this month’s deadly ambush.
Some 800 U.S. service members are supporting a French-led mission to defeat the Islamic State, al-Qaida and Boko Haram in West Africa.
Dunford acknowledges many questions remain about what happened near Niger’s Mali border.
They include whether the U.S. had adequate intelligence and equipment for its operation, whether there was a failure of planning and why it took so long to recover one the bodies.