US Navy Seal killed in Somalia has been identified

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A U.S. military member who was killed after his unit was attacked while on a mission advising Somali National Army forces.

38-year-old Kyle Milliken of Falmuth Maine, a member of Seal Team Six was killed by small arms fire Thursday in a remote area of Somalia.

Two other services members were injured in the attack, but they are expected to survive their wounds.

A U.S. defense official confirmed the service member killed was a Navy SEAL, according to CNN.

CNN reports the incident happened Thursday during an operation against local al Qaeda affiliate al Shabaab 40 miles west of Mogadishu

"This was an operation targeting an al Shabaab group that had been associated with attacks on US, Somali and AMISOM forces," US Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Friday, referring to the African Union mission there.

The troops were in Somalia for an ongoing program to advise and assist Somali ground forces. CNN clarifies the mission was not part of the Somalian effort to conduct airstrikes and ground missions against terror targets.

U.S. Navy Capt. Davis said the Navy SEALs and members of the Somali National Army came under fire shortly after landing near an al Shabaab compound. 

Davis added that "the attackers were quickly neutralized on the ground."

"This was done under the same authorities that we’ve had since we began our operations there in 2013, which is to advise and assist on these types of missions," Davis said.

"US forces are assisting partner forces to counter al Shabaab in Somalia to degrade the al Qaeda affiliate’s ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and in America," according to a news release from US Africa Command.

According to a U.S. military official, this is the first U.S. service member killed in action in Somalia since 1993, when two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, killing 18 American soldiers during the Battle for Mogadishu. 

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