Washington’s Terrorism or Counterterrorism in Somalia

Somalia has become a breeding ground for Washington’s black operations since 2001, with the African country suffering human losses due to US hegemonic policies.

Only recently, it has been revealed that the US secretly deployed two dozens of troops under the guise of military advisors. It is naïve to think that the US has no ulterior motives other than giving advisory clues to the military men in Somalia or protecting the security of the African people.

In 1993, the US embarked on a military expedition dubbed Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia under the pretext of eliminating a Somali warlord, an operation which sadly caused massive human losses. Quite naturally, the US swiftly exonerated itself and attributed it to a misstep.

According to Charles William Maynes, editor of Foreign Policy, CIA officials privately concede that the US military may have “killed from 7,000 to 10,000 Somalis during its engagement. America lost only 34 soldiers. Notwithstanding that extraordinary disparity, the decision was to withdraw.” So, the estimates delivered by the US media have been drastically overlooked or underestimated.

The fact is that there is no justification for this human catastrophe. However, as is their wont, Washington officials barefacedly insist that their mission was to capture Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid who was openly opposed to the presence of the US in Somalia.

Later, much to the disappointment of many, this military farce was unfortunately glorified on the screen by Ridley Scott in a movie called Black Hawk Down.

Among other black operations in Somali is a series of killer drone sorties which the US had been carrying out for years without openly acknowledging the fact. It was in 2012 when the White House eventually lifted the lid of secrecy on its black ops in the Horn of Africa and admitted to the crime for the first time.

The US excuse for launching such attacks is the same old story: eradicating the al-Qaeda elements.

A count by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism claims that the US-conducted drone attacks have so far killed at least 112 Somali militants. This treacherously dubious number excludes the 60 civilians who were killed in the killer drone attacks. Washington’s method of distinguishing between the civilians and non-civilians is understandably strange. Those who are adults are non-civilians and those who are not, are civilians.

Interestingly, the US used to prefer a policy of denial regarding the drone attacks until a few months ago when the CIA acknowledged that the drone attacks in Somalia and other parts of Africa were carried out under the supervision of the espionage agency.

Further to this, there is an active CIA station in Mogadishu. In August, Jeremy Scahill reported on the CIA’s compound at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport, stating, “the facility looks like a small gated community, with more than a dozen buildings behind large protective walls and secured by guard towers at each of its four corners. At the facility, the CIA runs a counterterrorism training program for Somali intelligence agents and operatives aimed at building an indigenous strike force capable of snatch operations and targeted ‘combat’ operations against members of Al Shabab.”

According to Scahill, the CIA is not in the least interested in dealing directly with Somali political leaders, who they say are corrupt and untrustworthy. Instead, the United States has Somali intelligence agents on its payroll. Somali sources with knowledge of the program described the agents as lining up to receive $200 monthly cash payments from Americans. “They support us in a big way financially,” says the senior Somali intelligence official. “They are the largest [funder] by far.”

What is the US really doing in Somalia?

A look at the natural resources of this country is enough to provide an answer to this question.

A LA Times article reveals that nearly two-thirds of Somalia’s resources were allocated to the American oil giants Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips in the final years before Somalia’s pro-US President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into chaos in January, 1991. Industry sources said the companies holding the rights to the most promising concessions are hoping that the Bush Administration’s decision to send U.S. troops to safeguard aid shipments to Somalia will also help protect their multimillion-dollar investments there. Officially, the Administration and the State Department insist that the U.S. military mission in Somalia is strictly humanitarian. Oil industry spokesmen dismissed as “absurd” and “nonsense” allegations by aid experts, veteran East Africa analysts and several prominent Somalis that President Bush, a former Texas oilman, was moved to act in Somalia, at least in part, by the U.S. corporate oil stake.

According to a report issued by Range Resources, there are some huge oil seeps in north Somalia (Somaliland) and in the southwest where Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia meet.

New estimates of the country’s oil reserves, onshore and offshore, run as high as 110 billion barrels. According to the reports, there are likely vast natural gas reserves in Somali waters in the Indian Ocean. Add to that a series of fields which have been found off Mozambique and Tanzania and which contain an estimated 100 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Under the banner of combating terrorism, the ghoul of imperialism intervenes and vindicates its spree killer drone attacks and other inhuman black operations and spares no efforts in reaping the ill gotten benefits of its military lust in the Muslim lands.

Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian journalist, political analyst and chief editor of Press TV website. Read other articles by Ismail.