Four US Service Members Treated in Kenya After Terrorist Attack

Hannah Rogers
June 10, 2018

The U.S. troops were there to provide advice, assistance and aerial surveillance, the statement explained.

The last time an American soldier in Somalia was killed was 13 months ago, when a member of the Navy SEALs was killed in an attack by al Shabaab on USA and Somali forces.

This offensive took place in Jubaland, a common target for Somali forces, but one which the Somali government has little control over.

An American commando was killed Friday in an attack in southern Somalia that also wounded four U.S. military personnel along with a Somali soldier, officials said.

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

The Islamic militant group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack friday that killed one USA service member and wounded four others.

The coalition force was conducting a "multi-day operation" to clear al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group, from nearby villages. The attack marks the first known combat death of a United States service member in Africa since the October 4 ambush of U.S. and Nigerien forces which claimed the lives of four American troops and five Nigeriens.

Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked armed group, is fighting to overthrow Somalia's central government and establish its own rule based on its interpretation of Islamic law in the Horn of Africa country. The last killing of a US service member in Somalia was in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Mogadishu.

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President Donald Trump shared his condolences in a Twitter message Friday evening. "Three U.S. service members and the one partner force wounded were medically evacuated to receive additional treatment".

The U.S. has about 1,000 special operations personnel in Africa.

The statement said the mission's objectives were to clear al-Shabaab from contested areas, liberate villages from al-Shabaab control, and establish a permanent outposts created to increase the span of Federal Government of Somalia security and governance. Earlier Friday, the U.S. Africa Command issued a statement in response to allegations that civilians had been killed in a May 9 operation, saying a "thorough review" found the allegations to be "not credible".

The US troops were on a training mission with local Somali and Kenyan forces when the attack occurred.

It was also a 3rd Special Forces Group team which was hit in Niger a year ago, an ambush which killed four American soldiers and led to a massive investigation by the Pentagon.

This is the second U.S. military member to be killed in Somalia since the 1993 Black Hawk down incident that resulted in the deaths of 18 American soldiers.

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.

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