Görkem ŞEKEROĞLU -TDO- The United States has deployed a group of navy ships off the coast of Somalia to support the extraction of 700 troops from the country.

The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island and accompanying ships arrived off the Horn of Africa on Monday, almost 2 weeks after President Donald Trump ordered the pullout of troops who had been stationed in Somalia for years conducting operations against the armed group al-Shabab.

The Pentagon said in a statement on Tuesday (23 December) that the mission of the US navy force operation “ Octave Quartz” was to help relocate the US forces from Somalia to other East Africa operating locations while maintaining pressure on violent extremists and supporting partner forces.

Africom Commander General Stephen Townsend underlined Saturday that the US was not withdrawing from East Africa. He said the US remained committed to helping its African partners build a more secure future. “We also remain capable of striking al-Shabab at the time and place of our choosing – they should not test us,” he said.

It is stated that most of the 700 personnel departing Somalia will be rebased in Kenya or Djibouti, where they will be able to continue pressuring al-Shabab.

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