US President Biden Orders Troops Back to Somalia To Fight al-Shabab
US President Joe Biden has ordered US troops back to Somalia to help local authorities combat the al-Shabab terrorist group, a senior American official told reporters Monday.
The move is a partial reversal of the withdrawal ordered in late 2020 by then-President Donald Trump, who during his final weeks in office pulled nearly all US forces out of the East African nation, rebasing them in neighboring Kenya and Djibouti. The Biden Administration official described Trump’s move as being “against the advice of senior US military leadership.” And “since then, al-Shabab … has unfortunately only grown stronger,” he said.
Biden “approved a request from the Defense Department to reposition US forces in East Africa in order to re-establish a small persistent US military presence in Somalia,” the official said. The military presence will comprise fewer than 500 troops, and will “take a little bit of time to reach that” level, he continued. The force that Trump withdrew totaled around 750 US troops.