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US military calls on authority to extend anti-terrorism drone war to Kenya



To weaken the Shabab presence, Somali forces are working alongside troops from African Union peacekeeping operations, which include forces from Kenya, Djibouti, Burundi, Uganda and Ethiopia. . Kenya, in particular, has been a frequent target of retaliatory Shabab attacks.

Al Shabab remained determined and capable of carrying out attacks inside Kenya and along the Somali-Kenya border, in line with its stated intention to force Kenyan forces to withdraw from Somalia, a report concluded. general of inter-agency inspectors published on 1 September.

In early 2019, Shabab activists assaulted a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 21 people, including a police officer. Six years earlier, masked gunmen stormed upscale Westgate shopping center in the Kenyan capital in a rampage that killed at least 67 people.

But the brazen January 5 assault on Manda Bay, a sleepy seaside base near the Somali border, took U.S. and Kenyan troops by surprise. Armed with rifles and explosives, a dozen Shabab fighters destroyed an American surveillance plane as it took off and sparked an hour-long shootout.

Many local Kenyan forces, assigned to the defense of the base, hid in the grass while other US troops and support personnel were locked in tents with little protection to await the end of the battle, US officials said.

The deaths of the three Americans, an army soldier and two Pentagon contractors, were the largest number of US military-related deaths in Africa since four soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger in October 2017.

The attack sparked a push from Africa Command and some Pentagon officials for the new authorities to protect the approximately 200 US soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines, as well as 100 civilian employees and contractors of the Pentagon in Kenya, helping to train and assist local forces. Most of them work in Manda Bay, according to military officials.

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