Turkey has trained thousands of Somali troops, mainly special forces, but has not been actively involved in the fight against al-Shabab, until now.
Mohamud has vowed to defeat the group militarily, ideologically and financially, and the uprising led by clans against the militant has immensely contributed to his strategy. But Guleyd sees Turkey’s involvement as a major game-changer, but more so, timely.
He highlighted the Bayraktar TB2 drones’ proven track record in conflicts in Libya, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh, and most recently in the Russia-Ukraine war, where they have been deployed by Ukrainian forces.
“If you look at the limited US air strike in Somalia, it has significantly reduced the group’s military activities over the years, but, if Turkish drones are fully involved, I think it would change the war, given the nature of Turkey’s military strategy in other conflicts in recent years.”
Guleyd believes that the combination of several factors supports the view that Turkey’s commitments to the Somali’s security sector could potentially turn out to be a full-scale involvement.
Mogadishu hosts Turkey’s largest overseas base, Turksom, which also serves as a military training academy for Somali soldiers, one in three of whom are trained by Turkish armed forces, according to state news agency Anadolu.
Turkey has also been providing special commando training to Somali soldiers in its southwestern province of Isparta under a military cooperation agreement between the two countries.
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