U.S. Special Forces successfully rescued an American citizen held captive by a group of armed men in Nigeria recently, underscoring the United States’ commitment to protect its citizens worldwide.
The operation freed a 27-year-old farmer, who was living with his family in the neighboring country of Niger. He was taken from his farm by kidnappers demanding a ransom from his father. The United States worked with the governments of both Nigeria and Niger to achieve the rescue quickly and without military casualties.
“We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation,” Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement. “The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”
U.S. President Donald Trump lauded the servicemen and women involved in the operation in comments to reporters:
“I want the thank the special forces … it was a tremendous event. .. It was something that had to get done because they were playing with American citizens. We can’t let that happen.”
Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Chris Miller echoed the sentiment on Twitter, writing: “ This is a clear message to all criminal and terrorist related groups everywhere that the United States Government's reach is infinite and we will do everything within our great capabilities to bring our citizens home.”
“The United States is committed to the safe return of all U.S. citizens taken captive,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement. “Thanks to the extraordinary courage and capabilities of our military, the support of our intelligence professionals, and our diplomatic efforts, the hostage will be reunited with his family. We will never abandon any American taken hostage.”