MOGADISHU, Somalia – The US military says it has carried out self-defense strike against Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab in Awdhegle town, some 75km west of Somali capital Mogadishu, killing 4 militants.
In a statement by the US Africa Command said the strike was carried out on December 04, 2018 in Awdhegle area, after US and Somali forces came under attack by Al Shabaab.
The U.S. forces conducted a self-defense airstrike targeting al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Awdheegle, in support of the government of Somalia.
“We currently assess the airstrike killed four (4) militants with no civilians involved”, the statement said.
“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 added.
The US military said 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.
U.S. Africa Command said 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.
The command said U.S. forces would use all effective and appropriate methods to protect the Somali people, including partnered military counter-terror operations with Somali army forces and African Union troops in Somalia.
Meanwhile, the armed group Al Shabaab claimed to have foiled an attack by US and Somali especial forces in Awdhegle town.
The group says none of its fighters was killed or injured in the latest attack in west of Somalia.
The U.S. military has stepped up the fight against al-Shabab since President Donald Trump took office, carrying out more airstrikes in 2017 than over the previous decade.
The U.S. has carried out at least 38 airstrikes this year, killing dozens of Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab fighters in south and central Somalia.