U.S. Africa Command and Somali National Army strike blow to al-Shabab militants

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – As part of its ongoing commitment to help Somalia achieve stability and security in the region, the U.S. Africa Command carried out a collective self-defense strike in Somalia on February 15, 2023, to support the Somali National Army in its fight against al-Shabab.  

This military operation, which took place in a remote area near Bacadweyne, approximately 460 km northwest of Mogadishu, resulted in the death of five al-Shabab fighters. 

It was a significant blow to the terrorist organization, which remains the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world.

The Somali National Army, with the assistance of local forces and international partners, has been engaged in intense fighting against al-Shabab across several regions of Somalia. 

On Thursday, the joint forces killed over 200 al-Shabab terrorists in the Iji area, located about 23 km from the Mahaday district in the Middle Shabelle region. 

The joint forces arrested some captives during the operation and recovered 300 weapons, medicine, and food supplies. Four commanders were among the militants killed in the fight, while some others sustained injuries.

In addition to the fighting in the Middle Shabelle region, the Somali National Army also pursued operations in other regions, including Hiiraan in HirShabelle State, Mudug in Galmudug State, and the lower Jubba region in Jubaland State. 

These operations resulted in losing five SNA soldiers who were martyred, while seven others sustained injuries. The casualties remind us of the high stakes involved in the fight against terrorism in Somalia. 

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has clarified that his strategy to mobilize society against international terrorism involves economic reform, social and political reconciliation, and religious tolerance.  

The Federal Government of Somalia is committed to comprehensively addressing its security challenges, and military actions are just one part of this effort. 

The U.S. is one of the countries providing humanitarian aid, stabilization efforts, economic development, and military assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia in its ongoing campaign.  

U.S. Africa Command plays a vital role in this effort by training, advising, and assisting partner forces to help give them the tools they need to defeat al-Shabab. The partnership with the U.S. has been a significant boost to the capacity of the Somali National Army in their fight against al-Shabab.

Somalia remains central to stability and security in all of East Africa. The efforts of the Somali National Army, with the support of local and international partners, have resulted in significant gains against al-Shabab. However, the terrorist organization remains a threat to the security of Somalia and the wider region. 

In conclusion, the U.S. Africa Command self-defense strike against al-Shabab in Somalia is a testament to the commitment of the U.S. and its African partners to support the Federal Government of Somalia’s efforts to achieve stability and security in the region. It is also a reminder that military actions alone cannot solve Somalia’s security challenges.  

A comprehensive approach that includes economic reform, social and political reconciliation and religious tolerance is essential to achieving lasting peace and stability in the country.