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U.S. Special-Operations Member Killed in Somalia

09 June 2018, 04:55 | Taylor George

One US Soldier Killed, Four Injured in Attack in Somalia

A convoy of armored troop carrying vehicles provided by the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of State drive to the Uganda People’s Defence Force compound Mogadishu International Airport Somalia Sept. 25 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard  Tech

The Americans were conducting an operation against the al-Qaeda-linked extremist group al-Shabab alongside partner forces from Somalia and Kenya when they came under enemy mortar and small-arms fire, U.S. Africa Command said in a statement.

The stepped up US campaign in Somalia comes as an global African Union force prepares to withdraw from its military mission in the country.

A U.S. special operations soldier has been killed and five military personnel - including four American service members - wounded in an "enemy attack" in southwestern Somalia, according to USA officials.

One US service member received medical treatment in the field while the three other wounded service members were evacuated, the statement said. "The U.S. provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission". "In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia we will continue to degrade the functional networks of ISIS in Somalia and al-Shabaab as these groups pose a direct threat to Americans, our allies, and interests in the region".

Around 500 American forces are stationed throughout Somalia including a number of Special Operations units comprised Army Green Berets, Marine Raiders and Navy SEALS.

The most recent USA casualty in Somalia occurred a year ago, when a member of the Navy SEALs was killed in a nighttime attack in Somalia.

President Donald Trump called the soldiers heroes Friday night.

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Since being pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011, the group has lost control of most of Somalia's cities and towns.

The official added that there were no plans for Somali forces to leave the combat outpost and that they would maintain a presence there.

The United States has intensified efforts in Somalia during the past two years, picking up the pace of drone strikes.

Somali officials have said civilians have been killed in more than one joint USA military operation with Somali forces.

That incident caused a firestorm in Washington as lawmakers demanded answers on the operation and the larger US mission in Africa.

The October attack in Niger raised questions in Washington about the US military presence across Africa as the Trump administration focuses counterterror efforts on a range of groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. An investigation into the Niger ambush concluded last month that it resulted from multiple failures.



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