Contradicting the previous reports from Kenyan military spokesmen, the U.S. responded yesterday as reported by the Voice of America:
The United States has denied taking part in Kenya’s operation against al-Shabab militants in southern Somalia.
A U.S. State Department release said Tuesday that the U.S. has helped Kenya build its border defense capacity for years, but added, “The United States is not participating in Kenya’s current operation in Somalia.”
A Kenyan army spokesman said Sunday that so-called “partners” had launched airstrikes against al-Shabab, and indicated that one of those partners was the United States.
The Kenyan army spokesman also said the French Navy had shelled the al-Shabab stronghold of Kismayo. The French navy denied that claim on Monday.
Kenya sent troops into Somalia this month in pursuit of al-Shabab militants, which it blames for a series of cross-border kidnappings.
Somalia’s president said Monday that he opposes the Kenyan intervention. President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said only African Union troops can operate legally in Somalia.
That drew a sharp response from a top Kenyan lawmaker, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Farah Moallim, who told VOA Somali Service Tuesday that Kenya has a right to defend itself.
. . . .
As reported by the BBC, France, on the other hand, has said that it will provide logistical support to the Kenyan forces–while denying reports that its Navy was involved in shelling Al-Shabaab positions.
- In Somalia, Kenya Anticipates Gains Against al Shabab [Updated] (sahelblog.wordpress.com)
- France to help Kenya’s incursion – BBC News (news.google.com)
- New Somalia Attack Could Jeopardize U.S. Shadow War (wired.com)