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Dozens Of US Troops Head To Mogadishu For The First Time Since ‘Black Hawk Down’
It’s a busy month for U.S. military forces, with dynamic situations in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Korea. But don’t sleep on the Horn of Africa, either.
Dozens of U.S. soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division have been deployed to Mogadishu to train Somali and African Union troops who are fighting al-Shabab jihadists there, according to a new report by VOA News.
Al-Shabab, an extremist group aligned with Al-Qaeda, has gained notoriety in recent years for its persecution of Christians, widespread abductions, and large-scale terrorist attacks in East Africa.
The U.S. troops were sent at the request of the Somali government and are tasked with a train-and-equip mission, which is expected to last 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," Patrick Barnes, a spokesman for Africa Command, told VOA on April 13.
Other than a small number of counterterrorism advisers, the arrival of the 101st’s soldiers in Somalia’s capital marks the first time conventional U.S. troops have had a presence there since the aborted United Nations mission that yielded the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. The battle, which claimed the lives of 18 U.S. special operations personnel, was memorialized in reporter Mark Bowden’s nonfiction book “Black Hawk Down” and a movie by the same name.
Following the Battle of Mog — known to most U.S. civilians as "the Black Hawk Down incident" — American involvement in Somalia declined sharply. However, the U.S. military typically keeps a small unit of special operations forces in Somalia to support U.S.-Somali military relations, according to Stars and Stripes., and U.S. strategic interest in the nation has begun picking back up in recent years. "The forward presence of U.S. forces in Somalia coincides with a spike in airstrikes against al-Shabab,” writes Stripes’ John Vandiver, “which was the target of at least 14 strikes or raids in 2016 compared with only a handful a year earlier."
The mission of the 101st Airborne soldiers will be different from that of the current unit operating in Somalia, but there will be some overlap, VOA reports.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
"Shoots like a carbine, holsters like a pistol." That's the pitch behind the new Flux Defense system designed to transform the Army's brand new sidearm into a personal defense weapon.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."
Police arrest suspected terrorist for 1985 hijacking in which Navy diver Robert D. Stethem was murdered
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.
A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.
An 18-year-old Army recruit at Fort Jackson died following a "medical emergency" before a training drill, according to an officials with the base.