It’s just been released that President Obama has put out a statement that the United States provided military support to France’s attempted hostage rescue in Somalia.
The publicly released letter, which can be seen below, states that the U.S. provided “combat aircraft” support to French ground forces.
In my personal opinion, I would say that Air Force AC-130 gunships were circling above the target area. For the past few years our AC-130 gunships have been utilized numerous times against militants in the Horn of Africa.
It is also possible that fighter planes might have been involved – but in an operation like this I wouldn’t put money on it.
January 13, 2013
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
On January 11, 2013, French forces conducted an operation in
Somalia in which they attempted to rescue a French citizen being
held hostage by al-Shabaab. United States forces provided
limited technical support to the French forces in that
operation, but took no direct part in the assault on the
compound where it was believed the French citizen was being held
hostage. United States combat aircraft briefly entered Somali
airspace to support the rescue operation, if needed. These
aircraft did not employ weapons during the operation. The
U.S. forces that supported this operation left Somalia by
approximately 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 11,
I directed U.S. forces to support this rescue operation in
furtherance of U.S. national security interests, and pursuant to
my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations
and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the
Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers
Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of
the Congress in this action.