United States pays tribute to victims of Al-Shabaab attack at Manda airfield
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The United States Army serving in Africa paid tribute to three American citizens, including a serviceman who lost his life in an Al-Shabaab attack at Manda airfield along the coastal strip from Kenya, which occurred on January 5, 2020.
The attack, which remains Al-Shabaab’s only successful raid on a US military camp, attacked questions about the military’s readiness to defeat Al-Shabaab, a group linked to Al- Qaida which has a huge presence in Somalia and parts of the Republic of Kenya.
While acknowledging the sacrifice of the three victims, the US Africa Command said it would continue to help its partners in East Africa in the fight against Al-Shabaab, adding that the group remains relatively dangerous in the countries and across borders.
“Today we honor the selfless service and sacrifice of the US Army Spc. Henry “Mitch” Mayfield, Jr., Mr. Bruce Triplett and Mr. Dustin Harrison, who gave their lives in the attack on Manda Bay airfield on January 5th. , 2020, ”reads a tweet from US Africa Command, which is under the leadership of General Stephen Townsend.
“The United States and our international partners remain committed against Al-Shabaab and other violent extremist organizations for the security of Africa, the United States and the international community,” the command added.
The anniversary comes amid the continued withdrawal of US troops from Somalia after decades of residence. While noting the decision to leave Somalia, the Defense Ministry confirmed that the troops would however be repositioned elsewhere in the East African region.
Al-Shabaab pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida, a terrorist network whose leader Osman Bin Laden was killed by the US Navy Seals in 2012, 2010. The group began fighting in Somalia in 2008 and since then it targeted thousands of innocent civilians. and the country’s security forces.
The Manda Airfield raid targeted US troops serving in Kenya and the attackers left three US citizens dead. Since then, partners in the United States and East Africa have stepped up the crackdown on Al-Shabaab, which is Al-Qaida’s main ally in the East Africa region.
Al-Shabaab attackers in Manda airfield identified by their leader Ahmed Omar are Moulana Faruq Moulana, Ahmed Al-Muhajir, Cmdr (Yemen), Abubakar Al-Muhajir (Tanzania), Ali Muhammad Ali, Qudama Al-Muhajir (Ethiopia) and Abdulwali Muhammad Ibrahim “Moallim Omar” and Adam Iman Yusuf, Abdulkareem, both Somalis.
Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaida have struggled in recent months, with internal cracks and shrinking financial fortunes the main cause. In addition, the groups have lost several fighters in major security operations carried out by multi-agency teams around the world.