LONDON (Somaliguardian) – The United Kingdom is sending 250 special forces to Somalia to train Somali government troops in counter insurgency tactics to allow them to take on Al-Shabaab, EXPRESS newspaper has reported on Sunday.
It comes a few months after the creation of the Special Operation Brigade was announced by former SAS commander General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, who currently heads the British army.
Under Mr. Carleton’s vision, four “all arms” battalions, each containing 250 special purpose Ranger units, will support the SAS and deploy on training advisory missions across the Globe.
“Within the next 12 months I want to stand up the first Ranger battalion in order to act as the vanguard for Army’s Special Operations Brigades” he said speaking at the Atlantic Council.
“I want to see it deployed potentially in east Africa in support of our regional East African partners.”
UK has been participating in the international efforts aimed at helping Somalia’s army stand on its feet again and enable it to fight Islamist militants controlling vast swathes of territory in the war-torn Horn of Africa nation. Over the past months, UK special forces have trained hundreds of Southwest regional troops who are now manning military bases in the southwestern Bay and Bakol regions.
An announcement confirming that the special forces will be deployed to Somalia is expected to be made during next month’s G7 summit in Cornwall.
“Our people will replace US Special Forces who have been training Somali forces,” said a source speaking to EXPRESS.
“It will be challenging, but the Rangers have been formed for precisely this sort of role.”
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