US sends dozens of troops to Somalia, 1st time in decades

Despite inflicting military setbacks and territory loss upon al-Shabab, the militants continue to create chaos in the country, as fears grow that al-Shabab and Islamic State are too much for the country to handle.

The United States is deploying "a few dozen" troops to Somalia to assist the national army and conduct unspecified security operations, a USA military spokeswoman said Saturday.

The Somalia-based al-Shabab claims that its escalation of deadly attacks is in "doubled response" to President Donald Trump's approval of expanded USA military efforts against it, an organization that monitors extremist groups says.

Though these will be the first troops officially deployed to Somalia in the fight against al Shabaab, they are not the first United States forces in Somalia.

General Thomas Waldauser, the commander of Africa Command, spoke to reporters at the Pentagon last month about the advantages Farmajo affords American forces.

"It gives them the tools to help themselves", DeLeon said.




The mission of deployed troops will focus on enhancing the Somali army's logistics capabilities and not associated with teaching counterextremism tactics, according to US Africa Command as cited by the Stars and Stripes newspaper.

This comes as Somalia has ramped up its operations against terrorist groups and particularly the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants.

In 1993, 18 United States special forces personnel were killed in the incident dramatised in the Hollywood film Black Hawk Down. Following those deaths, the American public was shocked and support for the operation evaporated.

Following the Battle of Mog - known to most USA civilians as "the Black Hawk Down incident" - American involvement in Somalia declined sharply.

But Africa Command made it clear that there was no link between the two. On December 5th, President Obama issued his latest biannual "war powers" letter to Congress which noted that the military had not only "conducted strikes in defense of US forces" there, but also in defense of local allied troops. He also declined to comment on whether or not they are responsible for operating drones, saying only that they "are not tasked with directly engaging enemy forces".

They will join the U.S. forces already there providing counterterrorism support to local forces battling the al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab. "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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