The evolving timeline of the deadly Niger ambush still has holes

The ambush in Niger

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), after attending a classified Pentagon briefing Thursday on the Oct. 4 ambush in Niger that left four U.S. soldiers and five Nigerien troops dead, including a translator, said there are still "a hundred questions that need to be answered." Indeed, the public timeline of events is changing, leaving new questions; this summary of what we know is based on reports from The New York Times and CNN:

Oct. 3: Two groups of U.S. troops set off in southwest Niger in the night. One, made up of U.S., French, and Nigerien commandos, was on a covert mission to kill or capture an Islamic State operative; that mission was aborted due to weather. The other reconnaissance group included about eight U.S. Green Berets, three U.S. support soldiers, and 30 Nigerien troops. They were asked to remain in the area to search for information on the ISIS operative.

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