Extremists Launched A Fatal Attack On American Special Operations Officers
President Donald Trump sent his condolences to the families of the fallen and injured servicemen after an attack from Al-Shabab extremists launched an attack on U.S. Special Ops soldiers in Somalia. The soldiers were in Somalia as part of efforts to control recent Al Qaeda activity in the area.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of our serviceman who was killed and his fellow servicemen who were wounded in Somolia. They are truly all HEROES. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
According to USA Today, A U.S. operations soldier was killed and four wounded in an attack Friday by al-Shabab extremists in Somalia. The injured have been treated and discharged to a U.S.embassy medical team in Kenya, the U.S. Africa command said Saturday.
Friday’s incident marked the first time a U.S. service member has died in action in Somalia since Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a senior chief petty officer, was killed in May of last year in a firefight with al-Shabab militants.
Milliken’s was the first U.S. combat death in Somalia since 1993, when 18 U.S. service members died battling Somali militiamen in an episode chronicled in the book and film “Black Hawk Down.” Though the Pentagon initially described Milliken as operating behind Somali troops, U.S. officials later acknowledged that U.S. Special Operations troops had been fighting together with the Somali forces.
U.S. military operations in Africa have come under greater scrutiny since an Oct. 4 ambush by Islamic State militants in the West African country of Niger left four U.S. soldiers dead.
Marine Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, who heads U.S. Africa Command, said at a Pentagon news conference that he had taken steps to better ensure the safety of U.S. service members in future operations.
“We are now far more prudent,” Waldhauser said. “The missions we actually accompany on have to have some type of strategic value in terms of the enemy we’re going against. Do they have a strategic threat to the United States?”
Militants affiliated with al-Shabab have threatened to conduct attacks against the United States, and the U.S. military has said the group poses a direct threat to U.S. interests and allies in the region. Though the group remains primarily a regional threat, the U.S. military has deployed to Somalia to prevent the extremists from operating freely in a safe haven.