Al Shabaab Militants Diverted River to Target U.S. Green Berets, Somali Soldiers

The Somali rebels flooded the local terrain and then ambushed the relocated U.S.-led joint force.

al shabaab
Somali soldiers gather at the site of a car bomb explosion which killed at least four people outside of the Somali Parliament in Modadishu on March 25, 2018. (MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

The American soldier killed in Southern Somalia on Friday was part of an operation that had been in the work for years, but by the time it began, the enemy was already prepared, reports The Daily Beast. A combined force of Somalis, Kenyans, and Americans, according to a U.S. Africa Command press release, was conducting a multi-day operation to liberate villages in the Lower Juba region from Al Shabaab control and to establish  “a permanent combat outpost designed to increase the span of Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) security and governance.”

The increased presence of allied forces in recent weeks put Al Shabaab militants on high alert, however, and so they diverted water from the Jubba River to flood the area. In response to the redirected river, the U.S.-led joint force built a combat outpost on a piece of higher ground, but were ambushed by Al Shabaab at the site on Friday. The U.S. Army Special Operations Command confirmed the identity of the soldier killed as 26-year-old Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Conrad of Chandler, Arizona, reports The Daily Beast. His specialty was gathering human intelligence.

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