You may or may not have heard about the disastrous raid in Somalia which resulted in the death of the spy French commandos attempted to rescue, Denis Allex, and a missing French soldier. On the upside, 17 Islamists were sent to Allah. But yesterday, the Obama Administration, for some strange reason, decided that they should admit to the participation of US force air assets over the operation, though they fired no shots, says the Washington Post;
Obama said the U.S. warplanes “briefly” entered Somali airspace but did not open fire and departed Somalia by 8 p.m. Friday, Washington time. He said he approved the mission but gave no other details.
A U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the operation, said the combat aircraft were based at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, a small country on Somalia’s northwestern border.
The U.S. military has based a growing number of armed Predator drones as well as F-15 fighter jets at Camp Lemonnier, which has grown into a key installation for secret counterterrorism operations in Somalia and Yemen. The defense official declined to identify the aircraft used in the rescue attempt but said they were fighter jets, not drones.
I guess this was another opportunity for the President to present his “war president” image without having to take any of the responsibility for the failed mission. Of course, the failure of the operation doesn’t give the other seven French hostages held by Islamists little hope for their release. I think if we’re going to be giving support to the French in this regard, we should be giving them more than air support since they have little experience in these operations.