Washington, April 14, 2019 – The old man who has the reins of power in the United States of America, Donald Trump, has signed an executive order extending a his country’s mission in Somalia for another year.
A quarter century after the events surrounding “Black Hawk Down,” the incident that killed 18 US soldiers in Mogadishu, the US military finds itself more actively engaged in Somalia than at any time since.
Though the US has higher troop levels in Niger and Djibouti, Somalia is the only place in Africa where the US military is regularly carrying out airstrikes that killed dozens of civilians including women and children.
Trump authorized the military to carry out more deadly strikes in March 2017 in Somalia. The increase in airstrikes has been criticized by some members of Congress and outside groups like Amnesty International, which has accused the US of killing civilians in Somalia.
Trump administration regards the fight against Al-Shabaab in Somalia as critical to protecting America’s primary strategic allies in the region such as Kenya and Ethiopia which have been hit by Al Shabaab-linked attacks in the recent years.
The US Special Operations Forces have trained an elite Somali army unit desperately aimed at defending the American interests in the region. The Pentagon has about 500 to 600 personnel in Somalia according to US Africa Command.
For nearly two years, a small team of US Special Operations forces has been embedded with the Somali National Army, assisting in the fight against Al-Shabaab. As well as advising on airstrikes and ground assaults that killed dozens of innocent civilians instead of Alshabab fighters.
Named Danab, which in Somali means lightning, the force currently numbers only about 500 soldiers, too few to carry out operations in a country with a coastline almost as long as the east coast of the US. The plan, US defense officials say, is to eventually build Danab into a force of 3,000 soldiers.
United States has made all humanly possible efforts to defeat Alshabab islamic fighters in Somalia but still in vain. The group has been storming villages and has overrun military bases without much resistance recenly in southern Somalia.
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