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US to pull troops out of Niger by mid-September: Pentagon

The Pentagon announced Sunday that the U.S. military will withdraw all assets from Niger by mid-September, after days of talks with the country’s military junta finalized the schedule.

Last year, a group of military leaders carried out a coup in Niger and installed a military regime geopolitically aligned with Russia. Negotiations for Niger’s withdrawal have been going on for several weeks, with the date finalized on Sunday after four days of intense negotiations.

Approximately 1,000 U.S. troops are stationed in the country for counterterrorism operations against Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliates.

The withdrawal plan calls for most of the equipment to be airlifted out of the country by September, with everything expected to be out by mid-month. Military infrastructure and some items too large to be transported will be entrusted to the Nigerian military.

Nigeria’s Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Ramin Zein told the Washington Post last week that “Americans did nothing and remained on our territory while terrorists killed people and burned cities.” “It is not a sign of friendship for terrorists to come on our soil and attack us.”

Niger ordered France to withdraw its troops before negotiating a withdrawal agreement with the United States. The latest withdrawal is another setback for the United States in Africa’s Sahel region, which has seen multiple coups in the past few years, ultimately benefiting Russia.

The threat from rebel groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS has already surged in other countries ruled by military regimes, including Mali, which brought in French troops in 2022, but has since seen terrorist groups gain control of territory. It’s doubling.

The Pentagon said talks to revise the agreement that would allow U.S. troops to remain in neighboring Chad are scheduled for next month, although talks are still ongoing regarding the withdrawal of about 100 U.S. troops from neighboring Chad.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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