A fourth US special operations soldier was killed in the Oct 4 attack in Niger while on a joint US-Nigerien anti-terror patrol on the Niger-Mali border. The assailants, believed to be led by Dondou Chefou, a leader of a new local terrorist group calling itself Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, stormed the patrol with dozens of vehicles and motorbikes. The French fighter jets called in for air support were unable to engage because the firefight was at close quarters. Presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron spoke Friday about joint counterterrorism operations in the Sahel region of Africa. The US is reported to have ramped up its Special Forces counter-terrorism activities in Africa.