A U.S. Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) came under attack today in the Bar-Sanguni area near Kismayo in Somalia. The U.S. Special Forces team was in the process of constructing a new Forward Operating Base (FOB) with a large local partner force when they came under sustained mortar fire and machine gun fire from technicals operated by the Islamic terrorist organization Al-Shabaab.
The attack was described as complex in nature, with the enemy coordinating their fires resulting in one American soldier Killed in Action and five Wounded in Action, which only left half of the team uninjured by the end of the firefight. Casualties were quickly evacuated to Djibouti. The Special Forces team came from 3rd Special Forces Group who are assigned to Africa as their Area of Responsibility.
It was also a 3rd Special Forces Group team which was hit in Niger last year, an ambush which killed four American soldiers and led to a massive investigation by the Pentagon. Last year there was also an incident in Mali in which two SEAL Team Six operators allegedly murdered a Green Beret on an embassy compound, reportedly over fears that he would expose a money laundering scheme that the SEALs were running.
Whether or not Al-Shabaab was motivated and emboldened by what happened in Niger last year and wanted to repeat the tactical successes of their fellow Jihadis is unknown at this time.
The recent attack in Somalia comes as a challenging time for Special Operations Forces on the African continent. Since the Niger ambush, Special Forces teams have had their hands tied and wings clipped according to SOFREP sources who stated that they were hardly able to leave their bases anymore. The Pentagon has since been looking at both curtailing operations in Africa as well as reducing the number of personnel deployed there.
This story is still developing.
Lead image: AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File