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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.
CAMP PENDLETON — The military prosecution of a Coast Guardsman accused of murder began Wednesday with a preliminary hearing at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Seaman Ethan W. Tucker, 21, was arrested August 28 after a seven-month Coast Guard investigation into the January death of Seaman Ethan Kelch, 19, who served on the same ship as Tucker— the Kodiak, Alaska-based high endurance cutter Douglas Munro.
ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area were not fully implemented.
Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.
President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.
It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.
The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.
BYESVILLE — A Meadowbrook High School student removed from class last Friday for being intoxicated is now facing a felony charge after allegedly threatening to shoot people if the previous incident harmed his chances to join a branch of the United States military.
Gabriel D. Blackledge, 18, of Cambridge, is facing one count of making terrorist threats, a third-degree felony, filed by the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. Blackledge remained incarcerated in the county jail on a $250,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed, according to the sheriff's office's website.