A senior US government official said Monday in a telephone switchboard with reporters that the move would reverse the pullout from the East African country ordered by President Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, in late 2020. Since then, al-Shabaab has grown in strength. After the withdrawal, US special forces were repeatedly on rotating missions in the country. Now there will be permanent stationing again. The number of soldiers will be less than 500 and thus below the level before the withdrawal.
The Sunni terrorist group Al-Shabaab has been fighting for supremacy in the country on the Horn of Africa for years. Republican Trump had ordered the withdrawal of US troops from Somalia in his last few weeks in office – after his election defeat by Democrat Biden. The US soldiers there supported the Somali government and the local security forces in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
The US official said al-Shabaab has become the largest and wealthiest ally of the al-Qaeda terrorist network. The terrorist organization has been responsible for the deaths of more than a dozen Americans in Africa in recent years. Biden is following a recommendation from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin by redeploying US soldiers.