U.S. forces aided a failed French rescue operation in Somalia on Friday, Jan. 11, President Obama announced today in a letter to Congress.
Obama said U.S. forces did not take a direct part in an assault upon the compound where a French intelligence officer was being held hostage by al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group operating in Somalia, but they did provide "limited technical support" to French forces. U.S. aircraft briefly entered Somali airspace, but they did not fire, Obama added.
French forces entered into Somalia under cover of darkness on Friday, but the ensuing gunfight with militants reportedly left at least 1 French soldier and 17 Islamist fighters dead, according to CNN.
French President Francois Hollande admitted that the raid "did not succeed," and the intelligence officer, Denis Allex, was almost certainly killed, the AP reported.