White Home press secretary Jen Psaki falsely claimed the USA doesn’t have any troops in Yemen or Somalia whereas defending the complete U.S. navy withdrawal in Afghanistan.
Psaki argued the U.S. would be capable to conduct counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan with out troops there, based mostly on the examples of Yemen and Somalia.
This comes after the U.S. navy introduced Monday it had accomplished its Afghanistan withdrawal, with CENTCOM Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie estimating the variety of U.S. residents left behind was “within the very low lots of” whereas Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned there are “nonetheless a small variety of Individuals” — estimated as underneath 200 and “probably nearer to 100” — who stay.
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Psaki was requested Monday if Individuals worldwide have been now at extra threat due to the large quantity of U.S.-sourced weaponry the Taliban gained possession of. Leaving an enemy with out weaponry isn’t all the time doable throughout a withdrawal, she mentioned earlier than making inaccurate claims about U.S. troops overseas.
“Our capacities — our over-the-horizon capacities, by the way in which, killed to ISIS terrorists simply final week, proceed to be utilized by our women and men on the bottom — stay in place and stay in place within the area,” Psaki mentioned. “There are different elements of the world — Somalia, Libya, Yemen — the place we don’t have a presence on the bottom and we nonetheless stop terrorist assaults or threats to U.S. residents.”
Jake Sullivan, Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, instructed CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, “What we now have confirmed over time in different international locations … is that we’re able to suppressing the terrorism menace, together with exterior plotting capabilities, with out a big everlasting presence on the bottom. We now have carried out that in locations like Libya and Somalia, locations like Yemen, and we’ll do this in Afghanistan in addition to we go ahead.”
Though the U.S. doesn’t have an introduced presence in Libya, President Joe Biden despatched a letter to Congress in June making it clear U.S. troops remained in Yemen and Somalia.
Biden wrote, “A small variety of United States navy personnel are deployed to Yemen to conduct operations in opposition to al-Qaeda within the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS.”
The president additionally wrote, “On the course of the prior administration, nearly all of United States forces in Somalia redeployed or repositioned to neighboring international locations previous to my inauguration.” He mentioned that “United States navy personnel conduct periodic engagements in Somalia to coach, advise, and help regional forces, together with Somali and African Union Mission in Somalia forces, throughout counterterrorism operations.”
He added that U.S. forces “based mostly exterior Somalia proceed to counter the terrorist menace posed by ISIS and al-Shabaab, an related pressure of al-Qaeda, in Somalia.”
AFRICOM commander Gen. Stephen J. Townsend mentioned in late June the U.S. may take into account including extra troops in Africa.
“I’ve been speaking backwards and forwards with my civilian leaders within the Division of Protection, the Secretary of Protection, giving him choices,” Townsend mentioned, in accordance with Air Power Magazine. Townsend mentioned it’s best to work “aspect by aspect, nose to nose, shoulder to shoulder” with U.S. companions in Africa.
Townsend quipped in April that many U.S. troops had been “commuting to work” on planes from neighboring international locations into Somalia to assist prepare Somali troops on counterterrorism, noting a “restricted footprint” of lower than 100 troops remaining.
It was reported by the New York Instances in June that “a small variety of Individuals — effectively underneath 100, navy officers say — remained in Somalia to assist coordinate data from surveillance plane that assist observe Shabab and different militant threats.”
Voice of America reported in August that “AFRICOM has been attempting to make do, sending troops into Somalia for periodic coaching missions to complement about 100 troops now working largely out of the U.S. Embassy.”
Biden misled about U.S. troop presence in Syria throughout his interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC Information a couple of days after the autumn of Kabul.
“Al Qaeda, ISIS, they metastasize. There is a considerably higher menace to the USA from Syria. There is a considerably higher menace from East Africa. There’s important higher menace to different locations on this planet than it’s from the mountains of Afghanistan,” Biden mentioned. “And we now have maintained the flexibility to have an over-the-horizon functionality to take them out. We’re — we do not have navy in Syria to make it possible for we’re gonna be protected.“
CNN reported an nameless administration official instructed them that Biden “was talking in regards to the al Qaeda presence in northwest Syria, which stays a menace to the USA and is being addressed with out American troops on the bottom” and that “there are a small variety of U.S. and coalition forces on the bottom in jap Syria in areas that had been the ISIS caliphate.” That isn’t what he mentioned within the interview.
Biden’s summer season letter to Congress added the U.S. had troops in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, the Philippines, the Lake Chad Basin and Sahel Area in Africa, and Guantanamo Bay.
“We now have not assessed that any group on the bottom, whether or not it’s ISIS-Okay or the Taliban, has the flexibility to assault the USA,” Psaki mentioned Monday. “There’s a distinction between the menace that’s posed to U.S. women and men serving or people who find themselves gathered exterior the gates in Kabul and whether or not these people can assault the USA.”
The Taliban, the Haqqani community, and al Qaeda are deeply intertwined in Afghanistan, and the Taliban have built-in Haqqani community leaders and fighters with al Qaeda hyperlinks into their command construction. The native Islamic State affiliate, ISIS-Okay, has lengthy clashed with the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, claiming Taliban rule is illegitimate.
13 U.S. service members and greater than 170 Afghan civilians and others have been killed in a suicide bombing exterior the airport Thursday, and plenty of extra have been injured. The U.S. navy says the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan was behind the lethal suicide bombing assault , and ISIS-Okay took duty for it.