Mattis: Despite recent KIAs in Africa, US troops aren't there for combat

Military Times: Despite the recent attacks that have killed and wounded U.S. troops operating in Africa, the role of forces there remains in advising partners, not in direct combat, according to the Pentagon.

Staff Sgt. Alexander Conrad, 26, died last week in an attack while supporting Operation Octave Shield, the mission focused on terrorist groups in Somalia.

An estimated 800 Somali and Kenyan forces with the support of a couple dozen U.S. special operations forces were on a multi-day operation about 220 miles southwest of Mogadishu, U.S. Africa Command officials said.

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