23 APR 23

Under cover of night, units from US special operations forces, including DEVGRU (SEAL Team Six), departed from the vicinity of Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti, Africa. They flew 800 miles (part of it through Ethiopian air space) to reach Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. Three MH-47 Chinook helicopters from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment carried the troops, stopping once in Ethiopia to refuel.

During the ground stop, manned and unmanned aircraft flew cover for the men on the ground.

The approximate route of the flight. Screenshot from YouTube, Google Earth, and ABC News

The entire mission was carried out, not surprisingly, totally under the cover of darkness. Once the operators reached their target, they rescued nearly 100 Embassy staffers and their families. No shots were fired, and no Americans were injured.

A spokesman from the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a brief statement about the rescue:

“The operation was fast and clean, with service members spending less than an hour on the ground in Khartoum,” said Lt. Gen D.A. Sims, director of operations at the Joint Staff. “The helicopters flew in and out of Khartoum without taking any fire.”

Many Americans Still Trapped

Despite the successful evacuation of the Embassy personnel, thousands of American citizens remained trapped in the war-ravaged country. Shortly after the rescue, a US-brokered cease-fire took effect. The White House said they were “actively facilitating” the evacuation of those remaining US citizens wishing to exit the country. I guess that would be most of them, but my guesses are not always correct.

To quote National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, “We have deployed US intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets to support land evacuation routes which Americans are using, and we are moving naval assets within the region to provide support. American citizens have begun arriving in Port Sudan, and we are helping to facilitate their onward travel.”