On Sunday, ISIS released a propaganda video that showed US special forces along with Nigerian forces being ambushed and killed by ISIS militant fighters. The ambush took place on October 4th, 2017 and resulted in four US soldiers Being Killed as well as several Nigerian soldiers. Among the American soldiers that were killed that day were, Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, and Staff Sgt. Bryan Black.

The ambush

The Footage seems to be taken from a helmet camera of one of the US soldiers. During the nine-minute video, US and Nigerian forces are ambushed by ISIS militant fighters and engage in close contact combat.

Two US soldiers are seen running and taking cover behind a SUV that is being strategically driven by a third US soldier. The US forces dodge incoming rounds from the ISIS fighters that are not far off in the distance and try to make it to a few red smoke bombs that had been deployed to provide cover and time to reorganize.

Before making it to the smoke bombs, one US soldier is badly wounded and pulled behind the SUV by his comrades. The remaining two US soldiers quickly assess his wounds. Seconds after realizing he had been killed, the other two American soldiers are shot by ISIS fighters while trying to run from their over-run position. The graphic video ends with two of the ISIS fighters walking past and shooting the US soldier wearing the helmet camera several more times.

The controversy

Many people, including soldiers within the special operations community, were upset by the publishing of the video by American news agencies and journalists.

Some individuals claimed journalists are spreading ISIS propaganda and disrespecting the four US military members that were killed that day in October.

SOFREP, a widely known news agency among the special forces community, that was founded by a former US military member, took heat for reposting the ISIS propaganda video. Jack Murphy from SOFREP in return published an article titled “From the Editor: Why we published the Niger video” to explain their decision in publishing the disturbing video.

In the end, the video is absolutely disturbing and all viewers should be advised before watching it. The debate still remains surrounding videos like the Niger ambush. Should journalists spread this to the public or quietly push it under the rug and leave it to groups like ISIS to use as propaganda?