An officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, was recently killed in combat in Somalia, the New York Times reported on November 25, citing former and current U.S. officials.
According to the newspaper, the officials didn’t say if the officer was killed during a counterterrorism raid or as a result of an enemy attack.
The officer, whose identity is still classified, was a member of the Special Activities Center, the paramilitary division of the CIA, and a former member of the U.S. Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6.
U.S. forces have been supporting the Somali National Army against al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, for years now. The forces are carrying out airstrikes, ground assaults and training Somali forces.
Al-Shabaab, which is mainly active in the southern part of Somalia, has between 5,000 and 10,000 fighters, according to estimates from the U.S. Africa Command.
In September, al-Shabaab attacked U.S. and Somali forces in Jana Cabdalle with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device and mortars. A U.S. service member was injured in the attack.
Washington is reportedly making plans to withdraw more than 600 troops from Somalia in the near future. President Donald Trump may make a decision on this before leaving office on the 20th of January.
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