The death of four U.S. soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger Republic has sparked a formal investigation by the U.S. Africa Command.
The soldiers were killed in an ambush which left two of their men injured.
The investigation comes as the Pentagon revealed that the fourth soldier, Sgt. La David Johnson, was “separated” from his fellow soldiers but never left behind.
“We don’t leave anyone behind. He was separated,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said of Johnson, whose body wasn’t recovered until more than 24 hours after the Oct. 4 fire-fight.
Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told reporters during a Pentagon briefing that U.S., French and Nigerien forces never left the battle-space until Johnson’s body was found by local Nigerien soldiers.
Until today, U.S. Africa Command had been conducting an informal review to gather facts about the ambush, but two weeks later, the details of the deadly incident remain unclear.
On Thursday night, a U.S. official said that the FBI would assist the military in its investigation.
Since the attack, U.S. Africa Command has been gathering facts about the ambush and the circumstances that led to it, but now a general officer will lead the new investigation.
In addition to gathering details about the incident, the larger investigation could make recommendations about how to prevent similar attacks from occurring in the future.
Many questions remain about the deadly ambush.
Read more: ABC NEWS