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Trump ordered most U.S. troops to leave Somalia

Washington – Pentagon withdrew most U.S. troops from Somalia at the behest of President Donald Trump on Friday, continuing Trump’s post-election push and reducing U.S. involvement in anti-terrorism missions abroad Said.

The Pentagon said in a short statement that a “majority” of Somali US troops and assets would withdraw in early 2021 without providing details. Currently, there are about 700 troops in the horn country of Africa, and a long-term battle with al-Qaeda’s affiliated militant group al-Shabaab.

Trump was recently ordered to draw down troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was expected to withdraw some or all troops from Somalia. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that the future structure of the US military presence in Somalia is still under discussion.

The adjusted US presence will be “relatively small footprint, relatively low cost in terms of staff and costs,” Millie said. He did not provide details, but the United States continued on the threat posed by al-Shabaab, which he called the “extension of al-Qaeda,” a group of militants who planned an attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. He emphasized his concerns. Afghanistan.

“They have a certain extent, and if left unattended, they can carry out operations not only in the interests of the United States in the region, but also in their homeland,” he said. “That’s why they need attention,” he said, noting that Somalia remains a dangerous place for Americans, and that CIA officers were recently killed there.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller made a brief visit to Somalia last week to meet with the US military.

In response to the rest of the U.S. presence in Somalia when he took office on January 20, presidential election Joe Biden either reversed Trump’s drawdown or others to reflect his anti-terrorism priorities. You can make adjustments. US troops are also stationed in Djibouti, adjacent to the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

U.S. African Army General Stephen Townsend said in a written statement that Somalia’s U.S. forces would “decrease significantly,” but did not provide details. “The US military remains in the region, and our mission and commitment to our partners remains the same,” he said.

“This action is not a withdrawal and end of our efforts, but a relocation to continue our efforts in East Africa,” he added.

Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langebin has criticized Trump’s withdrawal in Somalia as “a surrender to al-Qaeda and a gift from China.” Langevin is the chairman of the Intelligence and New Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the Senate Military Committee.

“If the U.S. military leaves Somalia in response to today’s orders, it will be difficult for diplomats and aid workers to help resolve conflicts without violence or loss of life,” Langebin said. “Due to the elections in Somalia and the intensifying conflict in neighboring Ethiopia, abandoning our partner could not come at the worst time.”

Langebin said China would take this opportunity to build influence on the Horn of Africa.

The Pentagon said the drawdown in Somalia did not mark the end of the US counter-terrorism operation in Somalia.

“As a result of this decision, some units may be relocated outside East Africa,” he said. “But the rest of the troops are nearby from Somalia to allow cross-border operations by both the United States and partner forces to maintain pressure on violent extremist organizations operating in Somalia. It will be relocated to each country. “

“The United States retains its ability to carry out targeted anti-terrorism operations in Somalia and collects early warnings and indicators of threats to its homeland,” he added.

The nature of the threat posed by al-Shabaab and the appropriate US response have been a matter of growing debate at the Pentagon looking for an opportunity to shift its focus to China as a larger long-term challenge.

A “decisive change” was seen in al-Shabaab’s focus this year on US African troops attacking US interests in the region, according to a Pentagon surveillance report last week. African troops say al-Shabaab is Africa’s most “dangerous” and “imminent” threat.

Copyright 2020 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Trump ordered most U.S. troops to leave Somalia

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