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Biden Approves Return Of US Troops For Somalia Counterterrorism Fight, Reversing Trump


ABC News

Biden Approves Return Of US Troops For Somalia Counterterrorism Fight, Reversing Trump

The move is meant to aid Somalia against al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate.

By Luis Martinez

Reversing a decision by predecessor Donald Trump, President Joe Biden has approved a Pentagon request to redeploy several hundred American troops to Somalia for what the National Security Council calls "a persistent U.S. military presence" there as part of counterterrorism efforts.

The move will reestablish an open-ended mission in Somalia assisting the country in its fight against al-Shabab, a local al-Qaida affiliate.

The group once ruled Somalia and has been seeking to regain territorial control over parts of the country. It has carried out overseas terror attacks in Kenya, including in January 2020 when three Americans died in an assault targeting a U.S. base.

The Biden administration believes the move will "enable our partners to conduct a more effective fight against al-Shabab, which is al-Qaida's largest, wealthiest, and deadliest affiliate and poses a heightened threat to Americans in East Africa," National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said Monday.

A senior administration official told reporters later Monday that the number of U.S. troops returning to Somalia would be "under 500" and that they would continue with the same mission of training Somalia's military and assisting local forces on counterterrorism missions. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stressed on Monday afternoon that "our forces are not now nor will they be directly engaged in combat operations."


Full story https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-approves-return-us-troops-somalia-counterterrorism-fight/story

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