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A secret mission that ended in tragedy.
Last October, four US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger, while accompanying US troops in an operation near the border with Mali.
The event generated shock in the USA. and he drew public attention to the little-known activities of his armed forces in that corner of West Africa.
The main power of the planet has something more than 200,000 military distributed in some 180 countries and territories around the world.
However, there are only seven countries in which his troops are actively involved in operations that have involved the use of military force, according to a declassified report sent this week by the Donald Trump government to the US Congress and published by the US Congress. New York Times newspaper .
Rava tells you which are the nations in which the US forces have recently carried out armed actions and how far their involvement has come.
The United States has about 13,329 troops in Afghanistan, where they arrived to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda after the attacks of September 11, 2001 in Washington and New York, which has become the longest war in which the US has participated. greatest power in the world.
“US forces remain in Afghanistan for the purpose of stopping the resurgence of safe places that allow terrorists to threaten the United States or their interests, supporting the Afghan government and the Afghan military as they face the Taliban on the ground and create the conditions to support a political process that allows a lasting peace to be achieved, “said the aforementioned report.
“The United States remains in an armed conflict – including in Afghanistan and against al Qaeda, the (self-styled) Islamic State (IS), the Taliban and the Taliban network Haqqani – and active hostilities are ongoing,” he adds.
Advances in the struggle to defeat EI in Iraq have led the United States to change its focus in Iraq, moving from combat operations to efforts to preserve the achievements made on the ground.
According to the Trump government report, US troops in Iraq continue to bomb the residual cells of ISIS , which still have the capacity to carry out deadly attacks and represent a significant threat against the civilian population and regional stability.
The United States also advises and works in coordination with those who train and equip select bodies of Iraqi forces, including the Kurdish peshmergas, in order to prevent the resurgence of IS.
In 2017, the forces of the international coalition led by the United States managed to “liberate 4.5 million people from the oppression of EI,” an extremist group that lost 98% of the territory it controlled in Iraq and Syria.
In the latter country, there are some 1,500 US soldiers who, among other things, support the militias of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fighting to control the middle Euphrates valley.
“US operations include bombing, advising and coordinating with local ground forces , as well as training, equipment and other assistance for these groups,” the report said.
US forces have also carried out some bombings against EI in Yemen, where they also have a direct confrontation with al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
In the report sent to Congress, the Trump government also acknowledges that it provides “limited support” to the coalition led by Saudi Arabia against the Houthi militias and the forces loyal to the late ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
This assistance includes the sharing of intelligence information, as well as the provision of defense equipment and services to the countries participating in the coalition.
However, this “limited military and intelligence support” provided by Washington “does not include the participation of US forces in hostilities.”
The United States has nearly 300 men in Somalia, who have the mission to counter the “terrorist threat” represented by EI and the radical group Al Shabab, an allied al Qaeda militia.
In that country, US forces experienced one of their most traumatic experiences in 1993, when a large contingent of special operations troops participated in an operation to capture the lieutenants of a warlord named Mohammed Farah Aideed.
The operation proved more difficult than expected, lasted for several hours and left a balance of 18 US soldiers killed, more than 70 injured and two helicopters fallen . The episode was known as the so-called Battle of Mogadishu and was recreated in the cinema in the movie “The Fall of the Black Hawk”, directed by Ridley Scott,
Currently, US soldiers advise, support and accompany counter-terrorism operations to regional forces, including the African Union mission that are present in the country.
The presence of US forces in Libya is officially limited to a handful of men. However, this small deployment on the ground does not mean less involvement.
According to the report sent to Congress, US forces carry out bombings against targets of the self-styled Islamic States in that country, including their desert camps.
Many of these attacks are carried out through the use of drones operated from outside the borders of the African country.
The United States has five hundred active military personnel in Niger.
The participation of US forces in combat operations in that West African country was little known until in October 2017 four soldiers were killed in an ambush in the desert mounted by forces loyal to IS.
These deaths generated a debate in Washington, among other things, because participation in combat actions was unknown to most of the US society that until then believed that its troops were limited to training and advising the Nigerian Army.
Two months later, last December, US troops accompanied by Nigerian soldiers were attacked by a group of extremists, which led to a clash in which 11 of the militants believed to be linked to IS were killed.
According to The New York Times , between 2015 and 2017 US soldiers participated in at least 10 other armed clashes in that region of the African continent.
The Trump government report notes that the military mission in Niger continues to be “training, advising and assisting” Nigerian forces and that in the events of October and December last, US troops acted in self-defense to repel attacks .
In any case, the military presence of the United States in that country seems to be projected in the long term. In fact, it is expected that by the end of this year they will begin a drone operating base valued at US $ 100 million.