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[ Somalia/Operation Restore Hope ]

December 9th, 1992. US Marines entered Somalia in what was known as Operation Restore Hope. By March, 1993, the US had let the UN take charge and 21 different nations had sent their contingents to Somalia. The UN became increasingly embroiled in the complex politics of the warring factions in Somalia and came into conflict with the largest faction, that of Mohammed Farrah Aidid.

After 24 Pakistanis were ambushed and killed while inspecting an arms dump which had been stored in Aidid's radio station (Aidid's men claim that UN was trying to shut down their radio station) the UN went on the offensive attacking Aidid's radio station and arms caches and trying to capture Aidid himself. In one such operation US forces attacked a civilian area killing 200 innocents, including women, children, and old men, all in the effort to capture Aidid. Within the UN there was digagreement with the American tactics, with the Italians providing the most vocal opposition.

On August 26th, 1993, a U.S. Army task force flew into Mogadishu: 440 elite troops from Delta Force and the U.S. Rangers.The Rangers' mission was to capture the warlord: Mohammed Aidid. The US began secret negotiations with Aidid through former US President Jimmy Carter. Despite the on going negotiations the US continued the manhunt for Aidid. October 3rd 1993, the Rangers, following intelligence information, set off to capture Aidid.During the Operation a US Blackhawk helicopter was shot down and US forces which at the scene of the crash were encircled by Somali gunmen. Reinforcements were sent but they encountered roablocks and machinegun fire as they tried to reach the crash site. While this was taking place a second Blackhawk helicopter was shot down. The convoy was ordered to procede to the second crash site, in the process they convoy came under heavy, almost continuous fire, and eventually the bullet ridden convoy returned leaving the 90 rangers still at the first crash site. The fighting continued for hours. Eventually Malaysian APC's arrived and the Rangers set out for a UN controlled Stadium. After 17 hours of fighting the battle was over. 18 Americans and up to 1000 Somalis were killed.

American troops were withdrawn from Somalia. The hunt for Aidid was abandoned, and U.S. representatives were sent to resume negotiations with Aidid.

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