MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – The US military says its troop withdrawal from Somalia is complete, in one of the last actions of Donald Trump’s presidency days before president-elect Joe Biden assumes office.
Somali authorities previously warned that withdrawal of an estimated 700 US troops came at a time the country is beset by Islamist insurgency.
US Africa Command has for the time confirmed that the withdrawal of nearly all American troops from Somalia is complete and many of the soldiers were moved to US bases in Kenya and Djibouti.
Asked whether the administration of President-elect Joe Biden will reverse the withdrawal, AFRICOM spokesman Col. Chris Karns replied in an email: “it would be inappropriate for us to speculate or engage in hypotheticals.”
Karns said the operation entered its “next phase of periodic engagement with Somali security forces” and gave no further details.
The US military trained and supported Somali forces to help the federal government based in Mogadishu stand on its feet and quell threats from militants who control large swathes of territory across the war-torn nation.
The Pentagon announced last year that the US was withdrawing nearly all of its troops from Somalia by January 15 2021. The US military has since carried out a number of airstrikes in the south of the country as preparations for troop pullout were underway at Belidogle Airfield.
US Africa Command commander Gen. Stephen Townsend said there were “no serious injuries or significant loss of equipment, despite significant efforts to target us by Al-Shabaab” during the “intense” operation to withdraw US troops from Somalia.
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