Caught in a Political Crossfire, U.S.-Trained Somali Commandos Suspend Fight Against Islamic State

NAIROBI—A Somali commando unit trained by Central Intelligence Agency operatives and U.S. Navy SEALs has become so entangled in local political power struggles that it has ceased operations against the Islamist militants it was created to fight.

Until last year, the 600-strong Puntland Security Force had reported directly to U.S. forces and was largely independent of Somali government control. But now the unit, the main force combating Islamic State’s Somali affiliate, ISIS-Somalia, has abandoned the front lines and returned to its headquarters in the northeastern port of Bosaso, overlooking the Gulf of Aden, according to U.S. officials and Somalis familiar with the situation.

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