A CIA officer has been killed during combat in Somalia, according to a former senior administrative official with knowledge of the matter. The officer was injured during a combat and later succumbed to his injuries. However, authorities haven't released the name of the officer but sources say that he was from the Navy SEAL.
The officer's death comes days after President Donald Trump suggested that he might withdraw troops out of Somalia in the future. US Special Operations forces have been assisting the Somali National Army in their fight against the militant group Al-Shabaab. The Navy SEAL team works closely with the Somali army and has been training them to build their own light infantry.
Death During Combat
The report of the CIA officer's death first appeared in New York Times. The incident happened last weekend but the CIA has neither made public the name of the officer nor commented on the incident. The officer was seriously wounded in an operation and later died of his injuries in a hospital.
According to sources, the officer was a former member of the Navy's SEAL Team 6 and belonged to the Special Activities Center, the agency's paramilitary division. Members of the US forces have often been the target of Al-Shabaab, with a number of soldiers getting injured over the past couple of months.
The officer's death will add another star on the memorial wall located inside the CIA's headquarters in Virginia. The wall pays tribute to the men and woman who lost their lives in the line of duty for the spy agency. The CIA tweeted in September that the wall featured 135 stars.
In the Line of Fire
The news of the CIA officer's death comes just days after Trump said that he was considering withdrawing more than 600 troops from Somalia in near future. The United States has over 700 troops in Somalia tasked with working with local forces to defeat the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
The Navy SEAL-led team's primary task is to train and build Somalia its own elite light infantry force. However, they have often found themselves in combat situations. In August, the US military carried out an airstrike targeting Al-Shabaab fighters in and around city of Dar as Salam, after local US-backed forces came under fire from a building.
In September, another CIA officer was seriously wounded when Al-Shabaab attacked US and Somali forces. Al-Shabaab have lately been targeting US forces more which has raised concerns leading to the decision of withdrawal of troops from the country.
US troops have in Somalia and helping the country's army since at least 2013. However, their active got a major boost under the Trump administration, which has since then seen frequent drone strikes on Al-Shabaab.