US. special operations forces, including members of the U.S. Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six, have rescued an American citizen, who was kidnapped just days ago in the northwest African country of Niger, in a raid in neighboring Nigeria. You can read more about what is known about the abduction of 27-year-old Philip Walton from his home in the Nigerien village of Massalata, less than five miles from the Nigerian border, on Oct. 26, in The War Zone‘s previous reporting on that incident. At the time, we had predicted that some type of special operations mission operation to rescue Mr. Walton could be imminent.
ABC News was first to report on the operation, which occurred at an as-yet-undisclosed location in Northern Nigeria and was conducted with cooperation from Nigerien and Nigerian authorities. The Pentagon has now confirmed that the rescue mission took place in the early hours of Oct. 31, 2020, and was successful, with Walton now safely in the care of the U.S. State Department.
“U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men. This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. State Department,” Jonathan Hoffman, the Chief Pentagon Spokesperson, said in a statement. “No U.S. military personnel were injured during the operation. We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation.”
Inbox: U.S. forces conducted hostage rescue op during early hours of 31 Oct in Northern Nigeria to recover American citizen held hostage by armed men. American citizen safe and in care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation. pic.twitter.com/HXl6pVzOyj
— Howard Altman (@haltman) October 31, 2020
Outstanding work by the U.S. military today in freeing a U.S. citizen taken hostage in Niger and reuniting him with his family.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 31, 2020
The Pentagon statement did not say how many members of the armed group who kidnapped Walton had been killed or wounded, but ABC News’s report said that all but one of the captors had died in the raid. The status of the remaining individual is unclear.
Details about the exact composition of the raiding force, beyond the inclusion of SEAL Team Six, are limited. The raid included the extremely long-distance movement of forces via multiple C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft flights and the employment of a quartet of both CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotors and MC-130 special operations transports, the latter of which pushed through Rota, Spain, before continuing to their target. AC-130 gunships and a large contingent of aerial refueling tankers also supported this operation.
The armed group who took Walton remains unidentified, but is said to have not been associated with any known terrorist groups in the region, pointing to some form of criminal enterprise.
Thank you President Trump
If this had happened under Obama or Hillary all the Brain-dead liberals would be hooting and chering for them like after we took out Bin Laden
Should we have sent counselors? Was force really necessary? Shouldn’t someone be looting?
Our military is second to none. God bless them!
432 virgins coming right up. The seventh guy found out the virgins were armed too.
The V-22 Osprey that was the very Aircraft tthat liberal rag Time was telling us had faults Proves Time is not t he truth just leftists Propaganda
This never would have happened during the biden/obama years.
Try to imagine how this situation would have played out on Biden’s watch. I find it hard to believe that Walton would be back home with his family if Biden were the one to call the shots. After all, Biden was strongly opposed to the raid that killed bin Laden (although true to his character, he lied later about that opposition). The only risks Biden took were the ones that saw him use his sadly deficient son Hunter as the frontman for the worldwide “Biden family business.”
@July 4th American: Obama would have sent Kerry to apologize and then Kerry would have deployed a folk singer to spread peace and love.
This is what real leadership looks like.
obama traded six of the worlds most dangerous terrorist from Gitmo for a piece of shit deserter who caused the deaths of military members sent out to look for the piece of shit. obama’s type of guy, a real pussy.