U.S. Special Forces have killed more than 30 al-Shabaab militants, including the group’s senior commanders in southern Somalia, over the last four days, Xhinua News Agency reports.
The U.S. Special Forces launched two major security assaults on al-Shabaab-controlled regions, targeting the Al Qaeda-linked Somali insurgents.
“The U.S. — backed by Somali commandos — hit al-Shabaab targets in Sakow town, killing 30 militants in separate security operations that took place on Aug. 10 and Aug. 13. Senior members of the terror group were killed,” sources said.
Case in point, al-Shabaab leader Abu Ubeida was either killed or captured during the two assaults.
Three of Ubeida’s deputies, including the group’s spokesman, Abu Mus’ab, and another identified as Abu Omar were among the dead.
U.S. Involvement in Somalia
Following the ouster of Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre through a military coup in 1991, a civil war erupted in Somalia between two opposition groups — one led by Cali Mahdi Maxamed and the other by Muhammed Farah Aydid.
The proceeding conflict led to loss of life, displacement of people, and the destruction of property, forcing the international community to intervene. The United Nations embarked on a mission dubbed “Operation Provide Relief” to offer aid to affected Somalis.
In December 1992, former U.S. President George W. Bush sent 25,000 American troops to Somalia to protect relief workers.
However, the unrelenting conflict in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, and lack of a central authority in the country made the military operation extremely difficult and risky.
In 1993, former U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered the reduction of American troops in Somalia, and by June that year, only 1,200 U.S. troops remained in war-torn Somalia.
In August, the United States sent a Special Forces team of 400 troops whose main mission was to capture Muhammed Farah Aydid.
Black Hawk Down
But on October 3, 1993, the U.S. forces came under heavy attack in the streets of Mogadishu as they attempted to capture Aydid from the Olympic Hotel, where he was thought to be meeting with other fighters.
One of America’s Black Hawk helicopters was shot down and many U.S. soldiers were killed as they attempted to rescue the crew in the downed helicopter. In total, 18 American soldiers were killed and 84 others wounded.
The incident compelled the Pentagon to withdraw its troops from Somalia in 1995.
Since October 2012, U.S. commandos have been quietly intervening in the ongoing fight against al-Shabaab with the help of other peacekeeping forces in Somalia.