American Soldier Killed, 4 Wounded in Somalia Firefight

Casey Dawson
June 10, 2018

CBN News learned it happened Friday during an operation in Jubaland, Somalia.

United States troops with Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire and one "partner force member" also was wounded in the attack about 217 miles south-west of Mogadishu, the U.S. military said.

In September 2014, American officials said they believed a drone strike crippled the group by killing its leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, who at the time was one of the most wanted men in Africa. One of the wounded US service members received sufficient medical care in the field, and the other three were medically evacuated for additional treatment.

Witnesses said the attack took place near the town of Sanguni, while the USA and Somali troops were digging trenches and setting up other defenses.

Al-Shabab claimed credit for the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group said in a statement Friday.

The Pentagon didn't identify the US commando who was killed, pending notification of next of kin.

The statement does not identify the attackers but says a larger force of Somalian and Kenyan troops were in an operation against al-Shabab.

President Donald Trump in early 2017 approved expanded military operations against al-Shabaab, leading to an increase in us military personnel to more than 500 and the launch of dozens of drone strikes.

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The troops had been on a mission to clear al-Shabab from contested areas as well as villages the armed group's fighters controlled "and establish a permanent combat outpost" to expand the reach of the Somali state, the USA military's Africa Command said.

The U.S. had pulled out of the Horn of Africa nation after 1993, when two helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu and bodies of Americans were dragged through the streets.

US President Donald Trump offered his condolences via Twitter.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of our serviceman who was killed and his fellow servicemen who were wounded in Somolia (sic)", he tweeted.

A USA military report on that incident publicized by the Pentagon last month without being fully released found that multiple individual and institutional failures left the US troops vulnerable to the ambush.

The recent attack in Somalia comes as a challenging time for Special Operations Forces on the African continent.

Since being pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011, the group has lost control of most of Somalia's cities and towns. A Pentagon investigation of the incident produced a highly critical report.

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