Pentagon May Boost Troop Presence In Somalia

The Pentagon might add troops in Somalia to regulate the rising al-Shabaab terrorist group, the top of U.S. Africa Command advised senators Tuesday.

In the ultimate weeks of his presidency, President Donald Trump ordered “the majority” of American troops to depart Somalia, sending some members of the U.S. navy to neighboring nations, together with Kenya and Djibouti, and proceed their counterterrorism mission from exterior the nation.

Gen. Stephen Townsend stated that al-Shabaab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group in japanese Africa, is “among the world’s fastest-growing, wealthiest, and deadliest terrorist groups” that poses a menace to Americans, and {that a} U.S navy presence relegated to neighboring nations is inadequate to fight it.

“My view is that our periodic engagement, also referred to as commuting to work, has caused new challenges and risks for our troops,” Townsend stated at a Senate Armed Services Committee listening to. “My assessment is that it is not effective, it’s not efficient, and it puts our troops at greater risk.”

Townsend stated he’s supplied recommendation to his chain of command that’s nonetheless being thought-about. He declined to enter extra element within the open portion of the listening to, saying that he’d “like to give them space to make that decision.”

Officials have additionally requested the White House to ship a number of hundred troops to Somalia, the Wall Street Journal reported final week.

Lawmakers on Tuesday expressed help for enhancing the American troop presence in Somalia. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the rating member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, stated he opposed the Trump administration’s order to withdraw practically all American troops from Somalia and depend on over-the-horizon capabilities for counterterrorism.

“We’re seeing this play out on the ground in Somalia as things get worse and al-Shabaab gains strength,” Inhofe stated.

Al-Shabaab, which was designated as a terrorist group in 2008, has deliberate and executed numerous high-profile terrorist assaults throughout Africa, together with one in 2019 towards a lodge advanced in Nairobi that killed 21 individuals. The group additionally claimed duty for a 2013 assault on a Nairobi mall that killed 67 individuals.

The Defense Department has continued its mission towards the terrorist group from afar. On Feb. 22, U.S. Africa Command performed an air strike that focused al-Shabaab terrorists, the navy introduced in a press launch. The strike, which was the primary since August, killed greater than 200 combatants, in line with native studies.

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