Pentagon chief visits Somalia ahead of expected troop withdrawal

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US defense secretary, Christopher Miller on Friday made surprise visit to Somalia’s capital ahead of US plan to cut troops in Somalia.

In a brief statement, the Pentagon said Miller met Friday with US troops in Somalia to express appreciation for their work and to reiterate the U.S. commitment to combating extremist groups in the country.

Friday’s visit was the last in a four-country trip. Prior to Somalia, Miller made previously unannounced visits to U.S. military camps in neighboring Djibouti, as well as Bahrain and Qatar.

The trip comes amid reports that Trump plans to authorize the removal of the approximately 700 troops currently deployed in Somalia assisting in counter-terrorism efforts against al-Shabaab, as well as the local ISIS organization.

The United States already pulled out of Somalia’s Bossaso and Galkayo around four weeks ago, according to Reuters.

The troops remain in the southern port city of Kismayo, a special forces airbase in Baledogle and in the capital Mogadishu.

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