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Dozens of US troops secretly deployed to Somalia

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The New Arab
Friday April 14, 2017


Dozens of US troops have been deployed to Somalia to provide training support in their counter-terrorist operations, according to a US military official, as Mogadishu ramps up its operations against the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab group. 

The troops arrived in their dozens in Somalia’s capital city on April 2 from the 101st Airborne Division in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and are currently carrying out a train-and-equip mission that is expected to continue until the end of September.

"United States Africa Command will conduct various security cooperation and/or security force assistance events in Somalia in order to assist our allies and partners," US Africa Command spokesman Pat Barnnes told Voice of Africa in an interview on Thursday.

Somalia has recently ranked up its battle against al-Shabaab by inducing more soft power programmes in their counter-terrorist policy to deter the youth from joining the militant group as well as ramping up their military capabilities.

Last week, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared war on al-Shabaab, calling on militants to retreat from the group within 60 days in exchange for jobs and education.

The mayor of Mogadishu, Yussuf Jimale, regurgitated Mohammed’s calls when Turkish deputy prime minister visited the city.

Jimale emphasised that Turkish aid, which helped build roads, create jobs and attract investments has been an important part in defeating al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab reacted to the revived calls to defeat the group by killing at least 15 people in a car bomb on Sunday in an attempt to assassinate Ahmed Mohamed Jimale after he was named to the top army job on Thursday.


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