US Service Member Killed, Four Wounded in Somalia
One US Special Operations member was killed in Jubaland, Somalia on Friday. It’s the second death of a US service member in Somalia since a Navy SEAL was killed in May 2017. There are reportedly approximately 500 US Service personnel in Somalia.
Africom released this statement:
During an operation June 8, 2018, in Jubaland, Somalia, one U.S. Special Operations member was killed and four U.S. service members and one partner force was wounded as the result of an enemy attack. Names are being withheld pending next of kin notification. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the service members.
The combined Somali National Security Forces (SNSF), Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) and U.S. force came under mortar and small-arms fire at approximately 2:45 p.m. Mogadishu time, killing one U.S. service member and injuring four U.S. service members and one partner force member. One of the wounded U.S service members received sufficient medical care in the field. Three U.S. service members and the one partner force wounded were medically evacuated to receive additional treatment.
A large force consisting of approximately 800 forces from the SNSF and KDF were conducting a multi-day operation approximately 350 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu when the attack occurred. The mission’s objectives were to clear al-Shabaab from contested areas, liberate villages from al-Shabaab control, and establish a permanent combat outpost designed to increase the span of Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) security and governance. The U.S. provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission.
The FGS is dedicated to restoring peace and stability to the Somali people, and the U.S. supports those efforts. This mission was specifically designed to increase the FGS’s ability to provide vital government services to innocent civilians living under al-Shabaab’s rule. The population in the region had historically supported the government, and the Somali forces had prepared for this mission by coordinating heavily with and securing the support of local authorities ahead of time.
The overarching goal in Somalia for the Department of Defense is to help the FGS provide a safe and secure environment for the Somali population.
When Africom posted this information on Twitter, one Somalian tweeted back:
“I see no reason why the US forces are in Somalia. There mission wasn’t successful in the 90s. Somalis can fight AS.they defeated other groups similar to AS in a short period.The only reason AS is still active& able to recruit is the presence of the forieng force.
..so please leave us alone. We want to rebuild our country, we don’t want more fights.
I may add AS is an opinion more than it’s a militant. We need to fight it with another opposing one. And it’s upto the Somalis to do that.” @NimoShire
It appears that Somalia has its share of uninformed citizens as well… or is it a thinly veiled threat? Al Shabaab (AS) is an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, and has murdered, kidnapped its way across their country. They’re not an “opinion,” they’re a terrorist group. They have anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 fighters.
When the name of the deceased service member is released, we’ll let you know.
Featured photo: Screenshot via Garowe online