We did not bomb al Shabaab fighters in Somalia, says US after ‘false reports’
The United States has denied conducting air strikes in southwest Somalia on April 14, 2017.
Several social media platforms and websites had reported that US military conducted air strikes in Somalia. The Chicago Tribune said the US military sent dozens of regular troops to Somalia in the largest such deployment to the Horn of Africa country in roughly two decades.
But in a statement on Tuesday, the US Africa Command said it did not conduct air strikes on Somalia.
“The US military did not conduct any kind of kinetic action in that area during the time frame referenced. The most recent US strike in Somalia was conducted in January, 2017,” the command said.
They said Washington routinely works with allies and partners in coordinated efforts to address regional security and stability matters.
The US military said a few dozen troops from the 101st Airborne Division will conduct security force assistance events in Somalia at the request of its government.
“The objective of this particular train and equip mission is to improve the logistical capacity of the Somali National Army and the focus will be on teaching basic logistics operations, which will allow Somalia forces to better fight Al-Shabaab,” the military agency said.
On February 27, the Pentagon said it wants to expand its military in a bid to fight terror groups linked to al Qaeda, particularly al Shabaab which is wrecking havoc in Somalia.
The US Department of Defence said it wants to put its forces closer to the fight against al Shabaab to avert attacks that may be planned against America.
This follows concerns that many young Americans from Somali communities traveled to training camps in Somalia therefore likely to attack the US.
Thomas Waldhauser, head of US Africa Command, in an interview with the Associated Press described Somalia as ‘the most perplexing challenge’.
“The US is trying to take a look at Somalia from a fresh perspective in the way ahead,” he said as reported in the New York Post – a US media outlet.