Operation Restore Hope (1993)

Bitter tribal fighting in Somalia between rival warlords during 1993 led to a massive international relief effort, spear-headed by the USA being deployed to ensure that Humanitarian Aid could be got through. Unfortunately little could be done to permanently stop the fighting and the UN and US peacekeepers were soon drawn into the fighting. The Americans made strenuous efforts to destroy the most powerful of the Somali warlords, Mohammed Farah Aided, and began sustaining operations against him in September 1993, using troops on the ground supported by helicopter gunships.

Several raids were mounted, aiming to capture Aided and his lieutenants, with little success. One US Black Hawk helicopter was shot down on 25 September 1993, with the pilot and co-pilot escaping, but three other crew members being killed. Another two were shot down on the 3rd of October, during a mission by eight UH-60s and four MH-6 Little Birds which went badly wrong, with a vehicle–mounted back-up and rescue column also taking heavy casualties. By the end of the mission some eighteen US servicemen had been killed and seventy others wounded. Following this disaster the American peacekeeping force was withdrawn from Somalia in March 1994.

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