This handout file photo courtesy of US Navy, Marines load into a V-22 Osprey on the flight deck of the USS Makin Island (LHD8) as they conduct maritime operations off the coast of Somalia in support of Operation Octave Quartz (OOQ) on December 22, 2020. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht / US NAVY / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / US Navy/ Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael J. Lieberknecht" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
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US Naval Ships Arrive In Somalia To Help Withdraw Troops

US naval ships arrived in Somalia Monday to support withdrawal of troops from the country, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

The ships arrived off the coast of the Horn of Africa, 16 days after President Donald Trump ordered pullout of troops.

The 700 personnel had been in Somalia for years undertaking operations against the armed group, al-Shabab.

The troops will be rebased in Kenya or Djibouti, where they will continue to pile pressure on al-Shabab.

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Africom Commander General Stephen Townsend noted Saturday that the US is not withdrawing or disengaging from East Africa. ”We remain committed to helping our African partners build a more secure future”, he said.

The move comes as Donald Trump seeks to wind down US military engagements abroad during his final weeks in office.

He ordered US troop levels to be slashed by mid-January in Afghanistan and Iraq, to 2,500 troops in both cases.

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