US Special Operations Member Killed In Somalia

Since 2007 Al-Shabaab an Al Qaeda linked group has been fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Somalia

One American soldier was killed and four others were reportedly injured Friday in a firefight in Somalia, according to United States military officials.

The U.S. troops' role was to provide advice, assistance and aerial surveillance to the Somali and Kenyan forces as they cleared al-Shabaab militants from villages and established a combat outpost.

Witnesses said the attack took place near the town of Sanguni, while the USA and Somali troops were digging trenches and setting up other defenses.

During the past year, US troops in Africa have been exposed to increased risks.

It resulted in the death of one US Navy SEAL and injured two others.

The attack occurred in Jubaland, where a large force comprising about 800 Somali, Kenyan and USA troops were working to clear a large area of Al-Qaeda-aligned Al-Shabaab fighters.

The name of the fallen service member is being withheld pending next of kin notification, according to AFRICOM. Three other servicemembers were evacuated for treatment.

Three of the four wounded US service members were evacuated to receive additional medical treatment, the military said.

More than 7,300 Special Operations troops are working around the world, many of them conducting shadow wars against terrorists in Yemen, Libya, Somalia and other hot spots.

A USA military report on that incident publicized by the Pentagon last month without being fully released found that multiple individual and institutional failures left the US troops vulnerable to the ambush. Military leaders have acknowledged that troops in the country are at increased risk as the United States attempts to bolster the capabilities of local forces meant to lead the fight against militants.

The recent attack in Somalia comes as a challenging time for Special Operations Forces on the African continent. With the AU poised to downsize its force, there is now an global push to prepare Somalia's inexperienced military to lead the battle against militants.

The death is the first USA combat death in Africa since an ambush a year ago by ISIS-aligned fighters in Niger left four US soldiers dead and prompted questions over whether American troops in the region had proper support.

"The population in the region had historically supported the government, and the Somali forces had prepared for this mission by coordinating heavily with and securing the support of local authorities ahead of time", U.S. Africa Command said.

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