MOGADISHU, 17 January 2021 – The last of America’s 700-strong force in Somalia were due to leave the Horn of Africa country by the end of this weekend.
Officials at the Pentagon (the US Defense Department) have not said if members of the force leaving Somalia this weekend is headed back home to the United States or is being re-deployed elsewhere.
Washington says it remains committed to counter-terrorism and to the defeat of the jihadist fighters of al-Shabab, which was the focus of the American troops in Somalia.
American soldiers were first deployed to Somalia in 2007 and their most important mission was to train soldiers of the federal army of Somalia.
American used helicopter-borne commando raids, airstrikes, drone-led strikes, and cruise missiles to piracy and defeat jjihadists.
Somalia will forever evoke sad images in the minds of American citizens, especially American soldiers.
In 1993, American troops launched a raid in Mogadishu during which two US Black Hawk helicopters were shot down.
Deployed to capture key allies of a Somali warlord, Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed, American troops met with fierece resistance from Aideed’s militia.
An estimated 100 Somalis were killed in the battle in wihich 18 American soldiers were killed, including those who died in the downing of the two helicopters.
The sight of dead US soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu became the most haunting images of that mission, helping those in Washington who did not support American intervention in distant, foreign lands.
The deployment of American troops back to Somalia has been seen by many observers as a sign of America’s determination to expend life, blood and limb fighting America’s energies far from home to ensure that they do not hurt Americans in the Homeland.
Security analysts in Washington are at a loss to understand why outgoing US President Donald Trump okayed the withdrawal of all troops from Somalia in the closing days of his term.