US Special Operations Member Killed In Somalia

Pauline Gross
June 10, 2018

The US military says one US special operations soldier has been killed and four US service members wounded in an "enemy attack" in Somalia.

A USA special operations soldier was killed in Somalia on Friday and four other US service members were wounded, marking the first time an American has died in action in Africa since four USA soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger late past year. The U.S. said its personnel had provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission.

"The statement from the Pentagon reads, "...combined Somali National Security Forces, Kenyan Defense Force and a USA team came under mortar and small-arms fire, killing the Special Operations member".

"One of the wounded U.S service members received sufficient medical care in the field". The last killing of a USA service member in Somalia was in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Mogadishu.

The Pentagon didn't identify the USA commando who was killed, pending notification of next of kin. The US had pulled out of the country after 1993, when two helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu and bodies of Americans were dragged through the streets.

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On Monday, The New York Times reported that a sweeping Pentagon review of elite United States commando missions is likely to result in a sharp cut - by as much as half over the next three years - in Special Operations forces in Africa.

President Donald Trump shared his condolences in a Twitter message Friday evening. The group was blamed for a truck bombing in Mogadishu in October that killed more than 500 people and raised concerns about its ability to build larger explosives.

The most recent U.S. casualty in Somalia occurred past year, when a member of the Navy SEALs was killed in a nighttime attack in Somalia. "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".

The group used to control most parts of the country, but since 2010, its fighters have been removed from most major towns and cities. Some of al-Shabaab's top leaders have been killed in USA drone strikes, but its operations have continued in Somalia despite the resistance.

A Pentagon investigation into the Niger attack, parts of which were made public last month, found multiple failures but none that directly caused the ambush by Islamic State group-linked fighters.

Other reports by GizPress

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