President Donald Trump granted the USA military more flexibility in conducting operations in Somalia on Wednesday, declaring the country a "war zone" and easing restrictions that protect civilians.
This effectively means U.S. special forces will be able to call in air strikes more quickly and accompany partner troops in more advanced positions, United States media report.
President Donald Trump has approved new kinds of operations for the USA military in Somalia, the Pentagon said Thursday, setting the stage for a wider American role there as US troops team directly with Somali soldiers in offensive operations.
American forces also can increase assistance to the Somali National Army.
The forces are fighting to defeat Al-Shabaab militants, a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda that was forced out of the capital in 2011 by African Union troops but still controls parts of the country. US officials denied that claim but said investigations into reports of civilian casualties were underway. Since then, the US military has carried out 45 airstrikes in Yemen, more strikes than have ever been conducted in any calendar year in that country.
In a statement on Thursday, Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the additional U.S. support will help "increase pressure on al-Shabab and reduce the risk to our partner forces when they conduct operations".
Syrian refugee numbers pass five million mark in region
Aid groups and the United Nations have also regularly warned about the long-term impact of the crisis, particularly on children. Unlike Palestinian refugees who live in camps managed by the United Nations, Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in informal camps.
NAIJ.com learnt that the military had accused the previous Democratic administration of President Barack Obama of micromanaging combat operations. His comments came as Trump faced scrutiny over what critics have deemed a lax policy on airstrikes and growing civilian casualties. Trump's decision on Somalia follows what humanitarian experts have witnessed in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, where civilians have been killed amid USA -backed efforts to go after extremists or rebels, he said.
Court documents said the two, originally from Somalia, sent money to financiers of al Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya.
"Her concern was her home country, Somalia", Alan Yamamoto, one of Dhirane's attorneys, told the Post-Intelligencer.
The move allows for increased airstrikes, which have previously only been used for defense of partnered forces.
The Times report does note that the US military's involvement in Somalia initially grew under Obama's command.
In January dozens of Kenyan troops were killed in an al-Shabaab raid on a Kenyan military base.