The US Department of Defense (DoD) has been authorised by President Donald Trump to provide additional precision fires in support of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The approval from Trump allows US troops to support Somali security forces in their fight against the al-Shabab militant group.
Commenting on US counter-terrorism operations in Somalia, US DoD spokesman captain Jeff Davis said: “This authority is consistent with our approach of developing capable Somali security forces and supporting regional partners in their efforts to combat al-Shabab.
“Somali and AMISOM forces have already achieved significant success in recapturing territory from al-Shabab, and additional US support will help them increase pressure on al-Shabab and reduce the risk to our partner forces when they conduct operations.”
The AMISOM is a regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union in Somalia with the approval of the United Nations (UN).
The mission was first established in 2007 with an initial six-month mandate, the DoD stated.
Military personnel assigned to the US Africa Command support the mission through information exchanges, partnership-building exercises and precision strikes.
Davis added: “We stand with the international community in supporting the Federal Government of Somalia as it strives to improve stability and security in Somalia.
“The additional support provided by this authority will help deny al-Shabab safe havens from which it could attack US citizens or US interests in the region.”