He said that us forces in Africa had come under fire about 10 times during the past year.
One U.S. special operator was killed and another four service members were wounded on Friday during a mission in Somalia against al-Shabaab, a terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, defense officials have announced.
Al-Shabab militants launched a deadly attack on US and Somali forces Friday, hitting them with explosives and heavy gunfire.
Three of the four wounded USA service members were evacuated to receive additional medical treatment, the military said.
It follows the death of four United States soldiers in Niger last October in an ambush attack that raised questions about the continuing role of American forces in Africa. 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 U.S. provided advice, assistance and aerial surveillance during the mission".
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In September 2014, American officials said they believed a drone strike crippled the group by killing its leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, who at the time was one of the most wanted men in Africa. The condition of the injured American troops remains unknown. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the service members". In October, four soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger that raised questions about the military's strategy on the Continent. Officials worry the extremist group is in the midst of a resurgence after losing much of the territory it once held in Somalia and many of its fighters in the last several years. He was the first US casualty in Somalia since the Black Hawk Down incident in 1993.
Al-Shabab claimed credit for the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group said in a statement Friday.
American forces have been back operating in Somalia for more than a decade.
That marked the first U.S. military combat death there since the infamous events of "Black Hawk Down" in 1993, when 18 American servicemen died in what is called the Battle of Mogadishu.
A US military report on that incident publicized by the Pentagon last month without being fully released found that multiple individual and institutional failures left the USA troops vulnerable to the ambush. Though the group remains primarily a regional threat, the US military has deployed to Somalia to prevent the extremists from operating freely in a safe haven.