Navy SEAL Member Killed in Raid Against Shabab in Somalia

Navy SEAL Member Killed in Raid Against Shabab in Somalia

A Somali soldier next to wreckage of a car used in an attack by suspected al-Shabab fighters in April. Credit Mohamed Abdiwahab/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — (NY Times) –A member of the Navy SEALs was killed on Thursday during a raid in Somalia against the Islamic militant group known as the Shabab, Pentagon officials said.

Defense Department officials said the service member was in the country as part of an advise-and-assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army. He was killed in an operation near Barii, about 40 miles west of Mogadishu, the capital, according to a statement from the United States Africa Command.

Separately, a Defense Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss delicate matters regarding Special Operations forces, said that the service member killed was part of the Navy SEALs.

“We continue to support our Somali and regional partners to systematically dismantle this Al Qaeda affiliate, and help them to achieve stability and security throughout the region as part of the global counterterrorism effort,” Africa Command said in the statement.

The death of the SEAL member comes as the American military’s campaign against the Shabab in Somalia has been expanding over the past several years. The Islamist group is complex, with some factions focused on controlling Somalia, while others want to participate in external terrorist operations in line with Al Qaeda’s global war.

A photo of al-Shabab fighters on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, in 2011. Credit Mohamed Sheikh Nor/Associated Press