losangelesnewstoday.com
losangelesnewstoday.com May 25, 2017


US Servicemember Killed Fighting Al-Qaeda Affiliate in Somalia

09 May 2017, 07:47 | Katrina Lee

He said the USA troops were "a distance back" from the compound which had been "associated with some attacks on facilities that we use and that our Somali partners use nearby".

USA forces were accompanying members of the Somali National Army on the mission against Al-Shabab, the AFRICOM statement said.

A statement Friday from the U.S. Africa Command says the service member was killed Thursday during the operation near Barii, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of the capital, Mogadishu. "He was a devoted father and son, a true professional and a wonderful husband", it said. The Pentagon reported two other military members who were injured.

Milliken is the first United States serviceman to die in Somalia since 1993, when American soldiers fought militia groups in the capital city, a story retold in a book and a film, both titled Black Hawk Down.

A spokesman for al-Shabaab, which wants to overthrow the Western-backed Somali government and impose its own strict brand of Islamic law, said US troops had attacked one of their bases, but that there were no Somali casualities.

"U.S. forces were conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army" at the time, it said.

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At the time of the USA service member's death, American forces were conducting an advise-and-assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army, the release said.

Milliken enlisted in the Navy in 2002 and has been assigned to an East Coast-based special warfare unit since 2004.

"Warsame played a key role in the Amniyat, the wing of al-Shabaab responsible for assassinations and the April 2, 2015 attack on Garissa University College that resulted in 150 deaths", said a statement on the Rewards for Justice website run by the U.S. State Department.

"The death of Moalin Osmaan Abdi Badil is a big blow on Al-Shabab militia power" Minister Yarisow said "His death is also success for the peace and stability of Somalia and the operations of our national security forces". Milliken is the second SEAL to be killed in action this year, as Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, 36, was killed in the January Yemen raid ordered by President Trump.

Africa Command commander Gen. Thomas Waldhauser met with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo last month to discuss the U.S. The U.S. and other donors have long tried to train parts of the army, and the United Kingdom and the European Union run stipend projects that top-up army salaries provided the Somali state pays the core salary.

Al-Shabaab pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012.



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