On Friday, the United States military disclosed that one U.S. service member was killed during an operation against al-Shabaab near Barii, Somalia on Thursday while conducting an advise and assist mission along with members of the Somali National Army. The incident occurred approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu.
“Al-Shabaab presents a threat to Americans and American interests,” a statement from U.S. Africa Command said. “Al Shabaab’s affiliate, al-Qaeda has murdered Americans; radicalizes and recruits terrorists and fighters in the United States; and attempts to conduct and inspire attacks against Americans, our allies and our interests around the world, including here at home.”
According to Fox News, the unidentified service member was a U.S. Navy SEAL.
U.S. forces have been assisting partners in the region to counter al-Shabaab to thwart the group’s ability to “recruit, train and plot” terror attacks both in the region and in the United States.
“We continue to support our Somali and regional partners to systematically dismantle this al Qaeda affiliate, and help them to achieve stability and security throughout the region as part of the global counterterrorism effort,” the U.S. Africom statement concluded.
Africa Command officials said Thursday’s attack was not related to a recent order approved by President Trump that expanded U.S. authorities in Somalia.
“The expanded authorities were not applicable to this situation,”Africa Command spokesman Patrick Barnes said.