Published: Mon, May 08, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Somalia says regional al-Shabab leader is killed in raid

The Navy SEAL killed in Somalia during an operation against terrorist group al-Shabab was identified Saturday as a decorated 15-year veteran.

The death of a U.S. Navy SEAL in Somalia this week highlights the little-known mission that U.S. military advisers have been carrying out in that country: to advise the Somali military in its fight against the al Qaeda affiliate, al-Shabaab.

"His sacrifice is a stark reminder that Naval Special Operators are forward doing their job, confronting terrorism overseas to prevent evil from reaching our shores", Szymanski said.

The Navy Seal's death is the first since the U.S. intervention in Somalia in 1993 when 18 special forces soldiers died fighting in Mogadishu.

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Somali officials say more than 500 Somalia commandos have been trained by the us, and the Somali government has said it wants to increase the number of trained commandos to 4,000.

The other injured service members are receiving proper medical attention and were taken to neighboring Djibouti for care.

In March, President Trump designated some parts of Somalia as "areas of active hostilities", which allowed the strike al-Shabaab without having to meet the conditions of "near certainty" of no civilian deaths and an existent direct threat to Americans. Two other service members were wounded in a firefight with al-Shabaab militants near the capital, Mogadishu, on Thursday, military officials said. Milliken is the second SEAL to be killed in action this year, as Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, 36, was killed in the January Yemen raid ordered by President Trump.

Both Somalia and the US are stepping up efforts against the Somalia-based al-Shabab, which has carried out attacks in other parts of East Africa and continues to target the Somali capital with deadly bombings.

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The Pentagon said the soldier was on an advise and assist operation working with the Somali National Army looking for Al Shabaab operatives.

Until then, the USA military had only been able to conduct airstrikes against al-Shabaab fighters in self-defense situations when African Union or Somali government troops accompanied by American advisers were under attack.

Abdirisak Farah, a Somali military officer, told AFP that United States and Somali commandoes were involved in the overnight raid which targeted a Shabaab unit.

An al-Shabab spokesman said that US forces had launched an assault on one of the group's bases, Reuters reported.

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Al-Shabaab is a terrorist group based in East Africa that pledged its allegiance with the Al-Qaeda.

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