Navy SEAL Killed in Somalia Identified as 15-Year Veteran Kyle Milliken

Cameron Gross
May 17, 2017

The Defense Department on Saturday said 38-year-old Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken was killed during an operation Thursday against the extremist group al-Shabaab.

The US has lost its first soldier in fighting in Somalia since the infamous Black Hawk Down incident 24-years-ago, with the military reporting a military death this in the war-torn East African country.

"We helped bring them in with our aircraft", Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said of the Somali forces in a statement.

US forces were conducting a partnered operation with members of the Somalia National Army, Davis said, noting this was an operation targeting an al-Shabaab group that had been associated with attacks against the United States, Somalia and African Union Mission in Somalia forces.

US and Somali forces were attacked shortly after arriving by helicopter to the target location, a compound that housed a group of al-Shabaab militants associated with an attack on facilities nearby used by Somali and USA military forces.

Both the United States and Somalia in recent weeks have declared new campaigns against Al-Shabaab.

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The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the helicopters dropped soldiers near Dare Salaam Village in an attempt to capture or kill militants in the area. No U.S. airstrikes were called in to support the ground forces.

Milliken is the first USA service member to be killed in action in Somalia since the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu that led to the death of 18 service members and wounded 73 others - an event that inspired the book and later Hollywood film, "Black Hawk Down".

Also last month, Somalia's new military chief survived a suicide auto bomb attack that killed 13 people, according to police. The group came under attack in the middle of the night.

After that tragic incident, United States withdrew from Somalia. The U.S. Africa Command said the deployment was for logistics training of Somalia's army.

The mission was not being carried out under the new expanded authorities granted by the Trump administration for the US military to conduct offensive counterterrorism airstrikes in Somalia targeting al-Shabab, according to the USA official.

Aid groups have raised concerns about the new military efforts, saying civilians could be at risk as hundreds of thousands are displaced by a drought that threatens roughly half the country's population of 12 million.

Other reports by BadHub

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