Somali Forces reel from Al-Shabab counter-attack

Cowsweyne (Caasimada Online) – In a significant counterstrike, al-Shabab militants attacked Somali army troops in the town of Cowsweyne last weekend, dealing a blow to the military’s recent gains.

Just days prior, government forces had retaken Cowsweyne from the al Qaeda-linked extremist group as part of their largest offensive in years.

Military spokespeople have remained silent about the details, while Somalia’s government has only confirmed that the attack was “foiled.”

Dahir, a wounded soldier recuperating in a military hospital, described the situation: “At about 6 a.m., a car bomb went bang, and a hellish battle followed.

When we got reinforcements, fighting intensified, and we beat the hell out of the terrorists.”

His fellow soldier Isse, also injured, said that at least 17 other soldiers were killed during the engagement.

Calls for accountability

Hospital officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the press, corroborated the extent of the damage.

“At least 50 wounded soldiers were brought here for treatment,” said one source.

Former deputy mayor of Mogadishu, Ali Yare Ali, even went further, claiming that around 130 soldiers had lost their lives based on accounts from unnamed military officers at the scene.

Former Somali president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed weighed in on the issue, declaring, “Parliament should carry out a serious investigation into the battle, in which we lost many soldiers, and hold the commanders responsible.”

Ongoing struggle against Al-Shabab

The military campaign targeting al-Shabab intensified last year and reached a significant milestone with the capture of the militants’ stronghold of El Buur on Friday.

Yet, Saturday’s events in Cowsweyne serve as a potent reminder of the challenges ahead.

These areas have been al-Shabab strongholds for years, and their knowledge of the local terrain and community consistently threatens the military’s operations.

Founded in 2006, al-Shabab has been waging a deadly campaign to overthrow Somalia’s Western-backed central government.

The extremist group seeks to implement its interpretation of Islamic law and has claimed tens of thousands of lives in the process.

Their resilience and capability for counter-attacks underscore the complexity of the ongoing conflict and the need for a well-coordinated, multinational approach to counterterrorism in the Horn of Africa.

The events raise vital questions about the government’s strategy and military preparedness, particularly when the enemy is deeply embedded in certain areas.

As the Somali army pushes forward, the stakes are high, and the path ahead is fraught with opportunity and peril.