Last weekend, the U.S. military killed what they reported as 52 militants from Somalia's al-Shabab. Taking its current form in 2006, the group started crossing borders for their violence in 2012 after allying themselves with al-Qaida. Their most recent attack took place on January 15 in Kenya––gun- and explosives-wielding men killed 22 people at a hotel. Their most successful was a bomb that killed a staggering 500 people in Mogadishu in October 2017.
The U.S. has been in Somalia since 2003, and currently has about 500 troops on the ground. A drone strike killed al-Shabab's leader in 2014, hower Trump has increased airstrikes against the group along with his attacks in Afghanistan and Syria.
Somalia might bring up strong associations with Black Hawk Down and the mess of Mogadishu in 1993, but it's a conflict generally lost among more prominent debates about the legality of U.S. presence in Syria, or whether 18 years in Afghanistan might just be long enough, writes Lucy Steigerwald in her latest at Reason.
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