By Andrew Wasike
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) released a report Thursday on the Jan. 5 attack on a Kenyan airbase used by U.S. troops that killed three Americans, acknowledging that the militants achieved a degree of success in their plan.
"The tragic loss of these brave Americans and the damage and destruction to aircraft demonstrates the enemy achieved a degree of success in its attack," AFRICOM said in a statement.
It also dismissed numerous reports that Kenyan soldiers hid in the grass, leaving American soldiers in the line of fire, noting that "despite public reports, an initial assessment indicates that a timely and effective response to the attack reduced the number of casualties and eliminated the potential for further damage."
AFRICOM said it is continuing to investigate the attack on the Kenyan Defense Force Military Base in Manda Bay, Kenya, that killed U.S. Army Spc. Henry J. Mayfield, Jr. and U.S. contractors Bruce Triplett and Dustin Harrison.
Kenyan and U.S. forces successfully repulsed the attack, maiming dozens of militants.
“The attack at Manda Bay demonstrates that al-Shabaab remains a dangerous and capable enemy,” said AFRICOM Commander U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend.
“They are a menace to the people of East Africa and U.S. national interests there, and their sights are set on eventually attacking the U.S. homeland. It is important that we continue to pursue al-Shabaab and prevent their vision from becoming a reality.”
In Kenya, U.S. forces are primarily responsible for training Kenyan forces, sharing intelligence and personnel recovery