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US troops to help Kenya fight against al-Shabaab militants

WASHINGTON (SD) – Unspecified number of US troops will be dispatched to help Kenyan military in the fight against al-Shabaab, United States (US) President Joe Biden approved.

According to Sunday Nation, a newspaper based in Nairobi, president Biden sent a letter to the US Congress confirming that he had approved sending special operations troops to Kenya, which is expected to collaborate with the Kenyan military in combating Al-Shabaab

The US deployment is expected to be a security boost for Kenya, which has in recent years suffered deadly gun and bomb attacks from Al-Shabaab. The Somalia-based group is known to have sympathisers in Kenya.

“In furtherance of counter-terrorism efforts, the United States continues to work with partners around the globe, with a particular focus on the United States Central and Africa Commands’ areas of responsibility,” explained President Biden in his letter to the US Congress on Tuesday. “In this context, the United States has deployed forces to conduct counter-terrorism operations and to advise, assist, and accompany security forces of select foreign partners on counter-terrorism operations…United States Armed Forces are deployed to Kenya to support counter-terrorism operations in East Africa.”

US government has been cooperating with Somalia and Kenya in the fight against al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate group based in the horn of Africa nation.

Since 2007, US military operation had conducted dozens of airstrikes against al-Shabaab, with some of the missiles the group’s top leaders including Adan Hashi Eyrow and Ahmed Godane who were founders of the group.

Hundreds of US soldiers in the mission of Africom had help Somalia in training and operations against al-Shabaab fighters.

Late last year, under the executive order of the then president Donald Trump, US announced the withdrawal of its troops.  In March, United States military said it completed withdrawing troops from Somalia

The number of U.S. military personnel in Somalia ranged from 650 to 800 people. U.S. troops supported and mentored an elite Somali unit known as the Danab “lightning” brigade.    

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