One U.S. special operator was killed and another four service members were wounded on Friday during a mission in Somalia against al-Shabaab, a terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, defense officials have announced.
"The U.S. provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission", AFRICOM said.
A United States special operations soldier has been killed and five military personnel - including four American service members - wounded in an "enemy attack" in southwestern Somalia, according to United States officials. One of the wounded USA service members received sufficient medical care in the field, and the other three were medically evacuated for additional treatment.
The Pentagon has carefully monitored the spread of radical Islamic jihad across Africa but insisted that American troops are there to train and partner with local forces, not necessarily to fight.
Marine Corps Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, who heads U.S. Africa Command, said at a Pentagon press conference that he had taken steps to better ensure the safety of U.S. service members in future operations.
The Pentagon didn't identify the USA commando who was killed, pending notification of next of kin.
US President Donald Trump offered his condolences via Twitter. Al-Shabab has been blamed for the October truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed more than 500 people.
A USA military report on that incident publicized by the Pentagon last month without being fully released found that multiple individual and institutional failures left the US troops vulnerable to the ambush.
CBN News learned it happened Friday during an operation in Jubaland, Somalia.
Another U.S. service member in Somalia was killed in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles west of Mogadishu.
"The mission's objectives were to clear al-Shabaab from contested areas, liberate villages from al-Shabaab control, and establish a permanent combat outpost created to increase the span of Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) security and governance", said the Africom statement. It was pushed out of Mogadishu in recent years but continues to control rural areas in the south and central regions.
The stepped up USA campaign in Somalia comes as an global African Union force prepares to withdraw from its military mission in the country.