Obama admits U.S. role in failed rescue of French agent in Somalia
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – U.S. President Barack Obama Sunday admitted to Congress that American forces supported French commandos in the failed rescue of a kidnapped French secret agent in Somalia.
In the admission made in a letter to Congress, Obama said a U.S. combat aircraft with troops briefly entered Somali airspace and provided limited technical support to French forces who raided a compound in Bulomarer on Friday night.
The American forces did not use their weapons and did not take part in the assault meant to rescue the agent with the alias Denis Allex, Obama said in the disclosure required under U.S. law governing military actions without congressional authorization.
Obama justified his decision saying it was for U.S. national security interests.
The rescue resulted in the deaths of two French commandos and 17 Al-Shabab fighters, according to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
A statement from the Islamist group holding Allex hostage since July 2009 said the French commandos raided a house they thought contained the agent, but he was in another location. The group said they will decide on what to do with Allex within two days.
Also, the group said one wounded French soldier left on the ground in Bulomarer, 68 miles south of Mogadishu, is now under the custody of al-Shabab.