Defense Department identifies Navy SEAL killed in Somalia

A Navy SEAL was killed and two other US service members were wounded in Somalia on May 5 when they came under attack by members of al Shabab, a Somali-based militant group aligned with al Qaeda, The New York Times reports.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Captain Jeff Davis, described the raid as a "Somali mission" against a Shabaab compound housing individuals linked to attacks on Somali and USA forces.

In the latest incident, US troops were hunting an al-Shabaab commander near the Shabelle River alongside Somali special forces, a Mogadishu-based security source told Reuters.

The U.S. special operations troops came under fire after U.S. aircraft delivered Somali forces to the target area, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, told reporters.

A USA military intervention in 1993 ended after the "Black Hawk Down" incident, when 18 US soldiers were killed when Somali militia shot down two helicopters in Mogadishu. That incident, which became known as "Black Hawk Down", generated a firestorm of criticism for the Clinton administration, prompting the withdrawal of US troops from Somalia and the resignation of then-Defense Sec.

Military officials said they believed this was the first US combat casualty in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle.

Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, was killed during an operation against al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida-linked organization, in a remote area approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu. As of late 2016, dozens of individuals from Minnesota's Somali community have been recruited by al-Shabaab, Fox News reports. Navy SEALs were advising Somali troops on the mission. The attack killed eight al-Shabab fighters, the official said, adding that radio-station equipment reportedly was seized.

Local media reported that U.S. Special Forces in two helicopters began clashing with Al-Shabaab after midnight and the fighting lasted about 10 minutes.

Somali political analyst Mohamed Shire told the AP that the increase in counter-terror efforts in the country under Trump "is not something that is odd, this is not something that is out of the blue, it is something that is expected and we foresee this happening more".

One official told VOA's Somali service that helicopters carried the commandos and special forces from Ballidogle airport, a known base for USA trainers working with Somali forces, to a point near Barire, and the soldiers then walked to Dar es Salam village.

It is believed the soldier was a US Navy SEAL while two other Americans were injured in the raid on an al-Shabaab compound.

This the second SEAL combat death this year.

The troops are said to be sometimes nervous, and have previously shot officials and even each other by mistake.

American military forces also work closely with African Union peacekeeping troops in Somalia.

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