MOGADISHU – US military says it has carried out two drone strikes against Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab in central Somalia, killing at least 37 fighters.
The two airstrikes were conducted in the vicinity of Debatscile in Somalia, targeting al-Shabaab militants on November 19, 2018, according to a statement by US Africom Command.
The Commando said the first strike killed 27 militants.
“We currently assess the first airstrike killed twenty-seven (27) militants. This precision strike was a planned and deliberate action”, the statement said.
The 2nd airstrike killed at least 10 other militants, the commando said.
“We currently assess the second, separate airstrike killed ten (10) militants”.
The commando assessed that the double strike had not not injure or kill any civilians.
The precision airstrikes were conducted in support of the Federal Government of Somalia as it continues to degrade al-Shabaab.
US military says it believed that the airstrikes reduce al-Shabaab’s ability to plot future attacks, disrupt its leadership networks, and degrade its freedom of maneuver within the region.
“Alongside our Somali and international partners, we are committed to preventing al-Shabaab from taking advantage of safe havens from which they can build capacity and attack the people of Somalia”, the statement said.
The US Africom says the group uses portions of southern and central Somalia to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local populace to fund its operations, and shelter radical terrorists.
The desired end state in East Africa is one in which terrorist organizations cannot destabilize Somalia and its neighboring states, nor threaten the interests of the U.S. and its international allies in the region.
However, U.S. Africa Command pledged that it would continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.