In addition to advising on air strikes and ground assaults, the Navy SEAL-led team’s primary task is to train and build its own elite light infantry force in Somalia.
As is tradition, the death of the officer will have another star placed on the CIA Memorial Wall in the atrium of CIA headquarters.
While US military advisers in Somalia generally look to Somali forces to take the lead during operations, there have been incidents where US forces have found themselves in combat situations.
In September, a US service member was injured in the country when Al-Shabaab attacked US and Somali forces.
In August, the US military carried out an airstrike against Al-Shabaab fighters in the vicinity of Dar as Salam, after US-backed local forces were attacked from a building.
A Pentagon Inspector General report released this year described the conflict in Somalia as a “stalemate”, with US-backed Somali government forces continuing to fight Al-Shabaab, and the insurgent group continuing to attack Somali forces. and international in the south of the country. provinces.
Although US military advisers have been in Somalia since at least 2013, the effort received a major boost during the Trump administration, which volunteered to undertake the Danab advisory mission in 2017, in addition to expanding drone strikes.
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The CIA declined to comment after the New York Times first reported the officer’s death.