Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks, commander of US special operations in Africa, in a statement warned of ISIS and Al-Qaeda serious threats and increased presence in West Africa.
The Gen. noted that the Al-Qaeda and ISIS inspired threats in Lake Chad Basin and here in the Sahel continue to grow in strength. Both ISIS and Al-Qaeda franchises have carried out attacks or attempted attacks on Western interests in Africa.
But while he labeled both groups threats, Hicks said that Al-Qaeda represented the bigger concern due to its ability to plan for the long term.
He also spoke of concern about the ISIS affiliates in Libya, the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin and Somalia particularly of foreign fighters leaving countries like Iraq and Syria to join newer affiliates.
Hicks reiterated that the US special operation is in not in any way walking away from its African partners. He added that they will continue to partner with other troops in Africa, improve their capability to become competent enough to conduct tactical operations on their own.
“We’re going to help them to degrade the enemies that we share in common. They are fighting America’s enemies. These are sworn enemies of the United States, that’s why we’re here. We can fight them here or we can fight them somewhere else at a much higher cost,” Hicks said.