The heartbreaking image of a visibly pregnant Myeshia Johnson kissing the coffin of her slain husband, Army Sergeant La David Johnson, as he returned to the U.S. was etched in our collective consciousness last October. The young husband and father died after being ambushed in the West African nation of Niger, but little was known about what led to his death at the time.
Nearly five months after the tragic incident, which left four U.S. special forces soldiers dead, the so-called Islamic State has released a propaganda video showing the deadly attack.
According to the BBC, the video includes raw footage taken by one of the fallen soldiers’ helmet cameras along with still images and video from militants preparing for the ambush. In one scene, the U.S. soldiers are seen around a vehicle firing at attackers. When one man falls, presumably shot, his peers try to drag him to cover. The three flee into nearby bushes, but soon the camera-wearing serviceman is also hit, causing him to fall to the ground. His helmet cam captures militants encircling him and firing at point-blank range.
It’s still unclear why U.S. forces are in Niger, or what exactly led to the deaths of the fallen soldiers. After the incident, Donald Trump came under fire for mishandling the phone calls to the slain servicemen’s families.
Myeshia Johnson said Trump told her “[La David] knew what he signed up for,” and that the Commander-in-Chief couldn’t even remember her husband’s name.
“I heard him stumblin' on trying to remember my husband’s name and that’s what hurt me the most, because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country why can’t you remember his name,” she said in an interview with Good Morning America last October. “And that’s what made me upset and cry even more because my husband was an awesome soldier.”
It is unclear why ISIS released the video of the Niger attack now, but it could be because the group has suffered significant losses in Iraq and Syria over the past two years.