U.S. discloses secret Somalia military presence, up to 120 troops

Terrorism again with the US front lining.

Bases in every country it seems, at a cost that simply must be staggering.

Somali National Army soldiers take part in a training exercise on March 28, 2013 at the Jazeera Training Camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia.   image source

Chicago Tribune
By Phil Stewart
2 Jul 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. military advisors have secretly operated in Somalia since around 2007 and Washington plans to deepen its security assistance to help the country fend off threats by Islamist militant group al Shabaab, U.S. officials said.

The comments are the first detailed public acknowledgement of a U.S. military presence in Somalia dating back since the U.S. administration of George W. Bush and add to other signs of a deepening U.S. commitment to Somalia's government, which the Obama administration recognized last year.

The deployments, consisting of up to 120 troops on the ground, go beyond the Pentagon's January announcement that it had sent a handful of advisors in October. That was seen at the time as the first assignment of U.S. troops to Somalia since 1993 when two U.S. helicopters were shot down and 18 American troops killed in the "Black Hawk Down" disaster.

The plans to further expand U.S. military assistance coincide with increasing efforts by the Somali government and African Union peacekeepers to counter a bloody seven-year insurgent campaign by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab to impose strict Islamic law inside Somalia.

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