Obama: US forces supported France in failed rescue mission

President Obama on Sunday informed Congress that U.S. forces provided "limited technical support" for a French raid in Somalia that unsuccessfully tried to free a French intelligence agent.

In a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate, Obama said U.S. forces took no direct part in the assault. He said combat aircraft briefly entered Somali airspace, but did not fire any weapons.

He sent the letter to comply with the War Powers Resolution, which requires the president to inform Congress within 48 hours of sending any troops into action. 

On Friday night, French forces stormed a Somali compound where they suspected Islamic militants were holding the French citizen.

The resulting shoot-out left one French soldier and 17 militants dead, according to the Associated Press. French officials said they believe the hostage, Denis Allex, was also killed. He had been held captive for more than three years.

The raid came hours after France sent troops into the African nation of Mali to attack Islamist rebels in the north, but was unrelated to that conflict.