U.S. airstrikes turn tide against Al-Shabab in Somalia

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – In an intense encounter in Somalia, the U.S. military reportedly performed three new airstrikes, killing ten al-Shabab militants. 

As part of a “collective self-defense” measure, these airstrikes were implemented to support the Somali National Army, who were in active combat with al-Shabab forces. 

U.S. Africa Command, more commonly known as AFRICOM, stated that the strikes were executed at the behest of the Federal Government of Somalia.  

The conflict zone is identified as a remote area near the town of Afmadow in the Lower Juba region, approximately 105 kilometers (65 miles) north of Kismayo. 

US-Somalia collaboration  

In collaboration with the Somali National Army, AFRICOM’s initial evaluation indicates that these airstrikes eliminated ten al-Shabab terrorists. The report further clarifies that no civilians were affected in the process. 

“Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released to ensure operations security,” the AFRICOM statement read. 

However, it was affirmed that a comprehensive evaluation of the operation’s outcome would be conducted, and further details would be disseminated as appropriate.

This latest development amplifies the count of U.S. airstrikes in Somalia to 13 for the current year. 

The Somali government had previously reported three operations carried out by their forces, with support from “international partners” in the vicinity of Afmadow.  

As per the Ministry of Information, these operations successfully annihilated more than 40 militants. 

Liberation of Xagar 

Simultaneously, recent reports revealed the successful entry of Somali government troops, backed by the Jubaland regional security forces, into Xagar – a town in the Lower Juba region previously under the control of al-Shabab 

Xagar, situated 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Buale, the capital of Jubaland state, has been under the iron grip of al-Shabab for over 15 years. 

Buale is the regional capital of Middle Juba, the only region entirely controlled by al-Shabab.

Whether the troops intend to set up a regular base in Xagar or plan on progressing toward Buale remains to be determined.