Small Wars Journal

Mattis: Despite Recent KIAs in Africa, U.S. Troops Aren’t There for Combat

Mattis: Despite Recent KIAs in Africa, U.S. Troops Aren’t There for Combat by Todd South - Military Times

Despite the recent attacks that have killed and wounded U.S. troops operating in Africa, the role of forces there remains in advising partners, not in direct combat, according to the Pentagon.

Staff Sgt. Alexander Conrad, 26, died last week in an attack while supporting Operation Octave Shield, the mission focused on terrorist groups in Somalia.

An estimated 800 Somali and Kenyan forces with the support of a couple dozen U.S. special operations forces were on a multi-day operation about 220 miles southwest of Mogadishu, U.S. Africa Command officials said.

This week while speaking with the press, Defense Secretary James Mattis said that such forces are there to “advise them how to go about their job, train them in all the things we do. They’re not in the combat.” …

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