Trump Orders ‘Majority’ of United States Troops to Withdraw From Somalia

United States President Donald Trump has ordered a “majority” of the 700 U.S. troops in Somalia to withdraw, a statement from the Pentagon said on Dec. 4.

United States President Donald Trump has ordered a “majority” of the 700 U.S. troops in Somalia to withdraw, a statement from the Pentagon said on Dec. 4.

According to the statement, an unspecified number of forces will be re-positioned from Somalia into neighboring countries “to allow cross-border operations by both U.S. and partner forces to maintain pressure against violent extremist organizations operating in Somalia.”

The statement also said that some forces would be reassigned outside of East Africa.

“While a change in force posture, this action is not a change in U.S. policy. We will continue to degrade violent extremist organizations that could threaten our homeland while ensuring we maintain our strategic advantage in great power competition,” the statement said.

Somali Senator Ayub Ismail Yusuf called the decision “untimely.”

“The fight against global terrorism is still ongoing and we must still win this battle for peace and security to prevail. We must not give up on our successes,” Yusuf stated in a tweet, referring to the militant group al-Shabaab, an affiliate of multi-national Islamist Al-Qaeda.

Meanwhile, Defense Priorities Policy Director Benjamin Friedman called the move “modest” and “a good one” in a statement. 

However, Friedman said, “The change is not necessarily a step toward ending American military involvement in Somalia’s civil war.”

The decision comes after a Central Intelligence Agency officer in Somalia was reportedly killed when al-Shabaab extremists detonated a car bomb last November.

Last November, Trump also ordered to reduce the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 each by mid-January.


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