According to US military and intelligence officials, the US has been collaborating with Somali forces to constrain al-Shabab, al-Qaeda’s most powerful ally. In exchange for cease-fire fighting, former US President Donald Trump has ordered the withdrawal of about 750 US troops from Somalia by December 2020.
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US President Joe Biden has signed off on a plan to send US soldiers to Somalia, reversing US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Somalia in January 2021.
The revelation that US special troops will once again be deployed in Somalia to assist in the war against al-Shabab has made Somalia’s new president “extremely thrilled.” On Tuesday, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud congratulated US President Joe Biden on Twitter, calling the US “a real partner in our efforts for stability and the war on terror.”
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The delay will be costly, according to US officials, who explained their decision to send fewer than 500 troops to Somalia as part of a “permanent presence.” According to a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, al-Shabaab has “unfortunately increased” since the decision to stop US military operations in Somalia in December 2020. According to the official, Al-Shabaab has upped its attacks, with a focus on US personnel. “We are concerned that al-Battlefield Shabaab’s and financial jihad would allow the group to plot and finally carry out external assaults.”
On Twitter, Antony Blinken, a US official who spoke with the president by phone, said: “The chat with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud today was really beneficial.” “Somalia’s attempts at reconciliation, security, and economic reform are supported by the United States.”