WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The October 2016 report was obtained by Vice News under the US Freedom of Information Act and released on Thursday.
“At any given time, you will find SOCAFRICA conducting approximately 96 activities in 20 countries,” SOCAFRICA commander Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc stated in the report.
In 2010, 3 percent of all US special operations forces deployed abroad were located in Africa, up from just 1 percent four years earlier. By 2016, the number had increased to 17 percent, according to Special Operations Command.
In total, there are about 1,700 US commandos deployed throughout Africa and most of them are engaged in counter-terrorism operations with US partner nations.Vice News noted that Bolduc said in the 2016 report the United States is not at war in Africa, but the report lists seven terror groups that are the focus of US attention on the continent: al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Daesh, Ansar al-Sharia, al-Murabitun, al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and the Lord’s Resistance Army (all outlawed in Russia).
On May 4, a US service member was killed in an operation against al-Shabaab near the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
The service member, identified as Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, was reportedly fighting alongside Somali forces. The US Africa Command had said earlier that US forces were conducting an advise-and-assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army.