Mogadishu, Somalia. As part of its worldwide “boots on the ground program, America is using special operations forces to attack al-Qaeda terrorists inside Somalia.
American forces carried out a strike in conjunction with Somali special forces Sunday against Al-Shabaab approximately 185 miles southwest of Mogadishu, according to Pentagon spokesperson Mark Simliger. The operation occurred at approximately 0600 GMT “in coordination with regional partners as a direct response to Al-Shabaab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces.”
The Pentagon statement emphasized that the strike was carried out as part of US President Donald Trump’s March authorization of American forces “to conduct legal action against Al-Shabaab within a geographically defined area of active hostilities in support of (the) partner force in Somalia.”
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said Somalian special forces participated in the raid against a training center for the extremist group’s militants near Sakow, a district in the Middle Juba region. Since 2007, Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda linked group, has been fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Somalia.
“The mission which was successfully ended destroyed an important training camp where the group used to organize violent operations,” said Mohamed. “This undermines their ability to mastermind more attacks.” US special forces have been deployed in Somalia for years. Drone and missile strikes have also been used against Shabaab commanders and foot soldiers.
This past May an American soldier was killed in a nighttime raid in Somalia.It was the first US military death in combat there since the infamous events of “Black Hawk Down” 24 years ago, when 18 American servicemen died in what is called the Battle of Mogadishu.