Somalia’s Jubaland military declares war on Al Shabaab
MOGADISHU– Somalia’s Jubaland state military has declared a long-awaited war on al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab in Middle and Lower Juba regions in south of Somalia.
The new joint offensive was aimed to flush the group’s fighters out of Juba regions, according to Jubaland army chief of 43rd brigade, Mohamed Badal Hassan.
Hassan says the military forces would launch joint offensive against all towns held by Al Shabaab during the holy month of Ramadan.
He asked local residents to collaborate with country’s army forces, in a bid eradiacte the al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab.
Somali army forces backed by Jubaland troops have been conducting military maneuvering outside Kismayo, a coastal town, which lies some 500km south of Mogadishu.
Somali military forces have recently seized Sabid town from Al Shabaab. Sabid, a town situates about 40km south of Mogadishu.
The group was also driven out of Barire town, after heavy fighting last week.
Bariire, is an agricultural-rich town lies about 60km west of Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The town was serving as a key transit point for Al-Shabaab fighters who frequently crossed over from southern regions.
The seizure of the town was big blow to Al Shabaab, according to head of African Union mission in Somalia, Francisco Madeira.
Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked group, has been fighting for more than ten years to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia.