Home Explainer Joe Biden’s War On Terror In Somalia

Joe Biden’s War On Terror In Somalia

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  • US President Joe Biden has authorised the deployment of 500 ground troops to Somalia
  • The order reverses President Trump’s order to withdraw 700 ground forces from Somalia
  • It revives an American counter-terrorism operation in the Horn of Africa
  • The troops will focus on decimating the Islamic militant group Al-Shabab which the US designated a terrorist organisation in 2008
  • Al-Shabab formalised ties with Al Qaeda in 2012
  • US Africa Command chief Gen. Stephen Townsend calls Al-Shabab the “largest, wealthiest, and most lethally active arm of al Qaeda”
  • The group is seeking to topple the new government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who ironically is accused of being soft on Al-Shabab
  • US attention focussed on Somalia after 18 US soldiers were killed in an operation in 1993
  • Attacks on US personnel by Al-Shabab have continued
  • In 2020, the group attacked a Kenyan military base killing three US personnel stationed there