Navy SEAL Killed Fighting Al-Shabaab in Somalia
A Navy SEAL was killed during a raid of Al-Shabaab near Bari in Somalia on May 4. He was the first combat death in Somalia since “Black Hawk Down” in 1993. Three other SEALs were wounded in the firefight, according to Fox News, though most other media reported only two other SEALs wounded. The name of the fallen SEAL has not been released pending notification of next of kin.
UPDATE: The Navy SEAL killed in the raid in Somalia was identified as Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Jeffrey Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine.
U.S. service member killed in Somalia, May 4. https://t.co/twOfKUVczR
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) May 5, 2017
The AFRICOM statement read in part,
“On May 4, one U.S. service member was killed during an operation against al-Shabaab in Somalia, approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu.
U.S. forces were conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army.”
A U.S. Navy SEAL was just killed in Somalia – the first American combat death there since “Black Hawk Down” in 1993. https://t.co/RwS9nIfP3L
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) May 5, 2017
Helicopters dropped Somali Commando troops and the American “advise and assist” members near Dar es Salaam village, where an Al-Shabaab leader was purported to be hiding. They then walked into the village, and were met with “stiff resistance” from the militant fighters.
VOA noted that 8 militants were killed in the operation. The region where the battle took place is a strategic agricultural area that has a large Al-Shabaab presence. The US has been conducting joint operations with the Somali Commandos in that area for about a year. According to VOA, 500 Somali commandos have been trained by the US so far, a situation so “successful” that they want to increase that number to 4,000.
The terrorist group Al-Shabaab is an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, although in parts of Somalia ISIS has taken a foothold.
Fox News reported,
Somalia’s new Somali-American president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, last month declared a new offensive against Al-Shabaab, which is based in Somalia but has claimed responsibility for major attacks elsewhere in East Africa.
In late March, the White House approved a Pentagon request to conduct offensive operations against Al-Shabaab in Somalia. This meant drone strikes and raids were given the green light to happen outside of self-defense, which was the previous policy under the Obama administration.
Al-Shabaab presents a threat to Americans and American interests.
Al Shabaab is an affiliate of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, which has murdered Americans; radicalizes and recruits terrorists and fighters in the United States; and attempts to conduct and inspire attacks against Americans, our allies and our interests around the world, including here at home.
We will update information on the fallen Navy SEAL as we receive it.
Navy SEAL is killed fighting militants in Somalia https://t.co/j7OxU8yAcd
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) May 5, 2017
Condolences to the family of the Navy SEAL who’s been killed in Somalia.
The first since 1993.
We won’t forget your service, your sacrifice.
— Lt. Frank B. Parker (@BACKSTEP2017) May 5, 2017