MOGADISHU, SOMALIA, 11 JUNE 2018 – One US special forces soldier has been killed and four others injured in an attack by suspected al-Shabab militants in southern Somalia.
The soldier was killed in an ambush north of the port of Kismayo, according to US defense officials cited by the New York Times.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of our serviceman who was killed and his fellow servicemen who were wounded in Somalia”, said US President Donald Trump in a condolences message sent via Twitter.
The soldier killed and his injured colleagues are part of a very small group of US special forces who operate on an “advise and assist” mission, according to US defense officials.
The US has been wary of intervening in Somalia since 18 special forces soldiers were killed in 1993 fighting militias in Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
The US casualties are the first confirmed in Somalia since May 2017 when one soldier was killed and two others wounded in a gun battle with al-Shabab west of Mogadishu.
The battle was dramatized in the film Black Hawk Down.
Trump has expanded military operations in the country against al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda affiliate in the Horn of Africa. The group was chased out of Mogadishu in August 2011 during an offensive led by African Union troops. They were chased out of Kismayo in September 2012 by a similar campaign. The group, however, still has strong presence in parts of the capital.