Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October in pursuit of insurgents that Kenya blames for a series of kidnappings on its soil and frequent cross-border assaults on its security forces.
Somalia has been mired in anarchy since warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
Here are details of previous incursions into Somalia by foreign troops:
* THE 1990s
— In August 1992 the first contingent of U.N. troops under the United Nations Operation in Somalia, or UNOSOM, arrived to monitor a ceasefire in Mogadishu after the fall of Siad Barre. In December 1992 the U.N. authorised member states to form the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) led by the United States to deploy troops to deliver humanitarian aid. UNITAF deployed some 37,000 troops.
— In May 1993 a second U.N. force, UNOSOM II, took over from the U.S troops. On June 5, 1993, 23 Pakistani soldiers were killed in fighting with warlord Mohammed Farah Aideed’s forces. The U.N. mission was dealt a fatal blow when 18 U.S. rangers sent to hunt down Aideed were killed in Mogadishu.
— Remaining U.S. forces withdrew and UNOSOM II was withdrawn in March 1995, leaving the local warlords to fight on. Some 150 U.N. personnel were killed during the mission.
— In June 2006, Islamist militia loyal to the Somalia Islamic Courts Council seized Mogadishu after defeating U.S.-backed warlords.
— With tacit U.S. approval, Somalia’s neighbour Ethiopia sent troops to defend the interim government in December 2006. The Ethiopian force advanced rapidly, taking Mogadishu and driving the Islamists to Somalia’s southern tip.
— Since Ethiopian troops withdrew in January 2009, the biggest threat has come from al Shabaab which controls much of southern and central Somalia.
— Kenya will end its military campaign against the Islamist al Shabaab rebels in Somalia when it is satisfied it has stripped the group of its capacity to attack across the border, the Kenyan military chief said on Oct. 29.
— The east African nation deployed troops into Somalia in mid-October in pursuit of the Somali insurgents it has blamed for a series of kidnappings on Kenyan soil and frequent assaults on its security forces in the border province of North Eastern.
— The Islamists have also launched cross-border raids into Kenya’s northeast, they say because Kenya has trained thousands of Somali recruits. There were two grenade attacks at a bar and a bus terminal that killed one person and wounded more than 20 last week in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
— Together with soldiers from the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the Kenyans have chased al Shabaab from the whole of Gedo region.
— Kenya has also launched air strikes and its jets struck the town of Jilib at the weekend, saying 10 al Shabaab insurgents had been killed.