SEAL raid in coastal town failed
In the early hours of Saturday the Somali coastal town of Baraawe was subject to a raid carried out by what was then believed to be “Western” forces. It is now becoming more clear that these “Western” forces may have been US Navy SEALs, contrary to earlier claims that the raid was carried out by a joint force of British SAS and Turkish special forces.
Local residents claimed that the raid started around 2am and lasted up until 3.30am. It is believed that Navy SEALs came ashore via use of boats and then proceeded to the location of their goal where they believed a “high value target” was present, a claim denied by Al-Shabaab.
The raid turned into a battle as the Al-Shabaab fighters present in the house fired back, leading to more Al-Shabaab re-inforcements to arrive.
Locals say that a range of weaponry were used including heavy weaponry. Eyewitnesses who went to the scene in the aftermath say the place was littered with 5.56×45mm shells.
The raid comes two weeks after the Westgate attacks and coincided with the abduction of an al-Qa’idah operative in Libya known as Abu Anas al-Libi.
Al-Shabaab’s millitary spokesman said that one Al-Shabaab fighter had been killed in the fight and that the SEALs left “stains of blood insinuating that they either killed or injured a SEAL, however US officials deny this.
Other foreign forces have carried out similar raids in Somalia. In January, French special forces carried out a raid in the town of Buulomareer, which resulted in the death of two French soldiers, one French hostage and several Somali farmers killed by French forces.
In December last year, unknown Western forces carried out a raid in Baraawe similar to the one on Saturday, killing two Al-Shabaab fighters. It bore striking resemblance to Saturday’s raid as the forces used boats and bullets similar to the one used in Saturday’s raid.
Although Al-Shabaab have retread from a lot of areas in Somalia, the readiness and reaction of Al-Shabaab to the raid and the Westgate attack still prove that Al-Shabaab is still a force to be reckoned with.