United States President Joe Biden has approved the deployment of US Special Forces to Kenya in a bid to aid the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops in combatting the Al Shabaab militia group.
This was confirmed in a letter written by Biden to the United States Congress affirming that he will deploy The US Special forces in Kenya for a special operation. Reports, however, didn’t indicate the number of troops being deployed to Kenya.
Biden’s letter, titled War Powers Resolution, is aimed at informing the US Congress before sending American troops to any environment which is deemed hostile due to presence of terror groups within the region.
“In this context, the United States has deployed forces to conduct counter-terrorism operations and to advise, assist and accompany security forces of select foreign partners on counter-terrorism operations.
“The United States Armed Forces are deployed to Kenya to support counter-terrorism operations in East Africa,”
President Biden also indicated that the US is ready to conduct airstrikes in order to weaken the threat posed by the terror group.
“Since the last periodic report, United States forces have conducted a small number of airstrikes against Al-Shabaab and remain prepared to conduct airstrikes against ISIS and Al-Shabaab terrorists,” the letter stated.
Al Shabaab has been a constant threat in the East African region with numerous attacks which have cost hundreds of lives.
The militia group is known for high-profile attacks such as the Westgate Mall attack in 2013 and the Dusit D2 complex in Nairobi in 2019.
Further, the KDF, under the African Union Mission (Amisom), has reportedly conducted operations including airstrikes as part of counter-terrorism operations against the terror group.
This had led to strained relations between the Kenyan government and Somalia which accused the KDF of carrying out attacks on its civilians.
“KDF’s attack is the most recent example of the Kenyan army operations resulting in the death and maiming of civilians, including women and children, that are increasingly becoming an unpleasant hallmark of the Kenyan Air Force’s standard operating procedure,” Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a past statement.