U.S. soldier killed in attack by al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia
11 June, 2018, 04:03 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
An American service member was killed in Somalia Friday and four others were wounded in a firefight with Al Shabab fighters, according to U.S. Africa Command (Africom).
U.S. President Donald Trump authorized the conducting of airstrikes in Somalia soon after taking office.
Major Hussein Ali, a Somali military officer told Reuters the attack took place at a military base just outside the town of Kismayu in Southern Somalia.
U.S. troops alongside Somali and Kenyan forces came under fire during operation against al-Shabab in Jubaland. USA forces provided "advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission." the US military said.
The military said the us service members were part of a 800-member force of Somalia and Kenya troops that came under came under mortar and small-arms fire in Jubaland, about 200 miles southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.
Four U.S. service members were also wounded in an "enemy attack" in Somalia. The al-Shabab group was blamed for the truck bombing in Mogadishu in October that killed more than 500 people and raised concerns about al-Shabab's ability to build ever-larger explosives.
The US commando's death on Friday was the US military's first fatality in Africa since four soldiers were killed in ambush in Niger last October.
In 2011, the armed group was pushed out of the capital, Mogadishu, by Somali troops backed by hundreds of soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) after months of deadly street battles.
Associated Press video on Friday showed Somali forces firing weapons from atop pickup trucks in a muddy rural area, and an unidentified US soldier speaking with local residents.
"There has been no direction at this time to adjust force size in AFRICOM [U.S. Africa Command]", said Pentagon spokeswoman Major Sheryll Klinkel.
Another U.S. servicemember in Somalia was killed in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles west of Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab quickly claimed responsibility for the attack on Telegram via its Shahada News Agency.
But U.S. military officials said this week that no decision had been made.
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