Several al-Qaida affiliated Al-Shabaab members were killed in a joint U.S.-Somalian raid Thursday, the Associated Press reports.
U.S. Africa Command confirmed an “advise and assist” mission took place but offered no details to the AP. The raid is the latest in a series of escalating actions against the terrorist group under new authorities provided by President Donald Trump.
Trump declared Somalia an “area of active hostilities” in late March, giving the U.S. military greater autonomy in green-lighting airstrikes.
A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in Somalia in May during a similar raid, marking the first U.S. combat death in the country since the 1993 Black Hawk Down incident that killed 18 service-members. Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters July 5 the U.S. keeps approximately 50 troops in Somalia to advise and assist the Somalian army.
Al-Shabaab famously carried out a 2013 attack on Westgate Mall in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi. The U.S. joined a coalition of several African nations after the attack in an attempt to curtail the terrorist group.
Al-Shabaab continues to remain active in Somalia’s rural areas despite nearly four years of combined U.S. coalition efforts. The terrorist group’s stated mission is to take the Somali capital of Mogadishu and impose its interpretation of Islamic law on the population writ large.
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