Under siege: Al-Shabab faces fierce Somali army offensive

Dhuusamareeb (Caasimada Online) – Somali National Army (SNA) has launched mine-clearing operations in the central state of Galmudug.

This operation comes as a precursor to another comprehensive military offensive against the Al-Shabab terrorist group.

According to a statement from the Somali Defense Ministry on Wednesday, “Our SNA teams have successfully cleared landmines along the Mudug and Galgudud corridor.

Ensuring safe passage and security for our citizens remains our utmost priority. We thank everyone involved for their bravery and dedication.”

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has not only announced a “total war” against the terrorists on ideological, financial, and military fronts but has also taken a profound step by relocating from the capital, Mogadishu, to Dhusamareb.

This city serves as the administrative capital of Galmudug state, a focal point in the battle against Al-Shabab.

This relocation is interpreted as a significant morale booster for both the national army and the local militias actively engaged in the fight against the terrorist group.

Recent successes against Al-Shabab

A security Officer Ahmed Adan detailed that the army has recently been responsible for killing hundreds of terrorists in separate operations throughout the country, effectively thwarting numerous attacks.

He stated, “I can’t give you the exact number of terrorists killed in recent days and weeks ahead of the upcoming military offensives, but the number exceeds hundreds.” 

In one notable instance, he mentioned that the army successfully neutralized a suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden vehicle near the recently liberated town of Masagawa in the Galgadud region.

Backed by clan militias, the SNA has liberated significant territories from Al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group.

One noteworthy victory includes recapturing the strategic coastal town of Haradhere, which had remained under Al-Shabab’s control for over a decade.

Call for international support

Despite the government’s determination and public backing, the conflict with Al-Shabab remains a significant challenge.

Mohamed Husein Gaas, director at Raad Peace Research Institute based in Mogadishu, emphasized the need for large-scale support from the international community.

In a phone interview with Anadolu, he stated, “There is a rare opportunity in Somalia now because there is a determination from the government that had not been there before, so the international community and the frontline states should not miss this opportunity.” 

Gaas also praised the consistent support from the Turkish government, emphasizing that Turkey’s military, humanitarian, educational, and developmental aid to Somalia is “essential.”

The persistent threat of Al-Shabab

Somalia has grappled with severe insecurity for years due to threats primarily from Al-Shabab and the Daesh/ISIS terror groups.

Since 2007, Al-Shabab has been in combat with the Somali government and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

ATMIS is a multidimensional mission authorized by the African Union and mandated by the United Nations Security Council, serving as a critical part of the efforts to stabilize the nation.

In light of these recent operations, the world now watches closely as the Somali government, with support from the international community, endeavors to secure a lasting peace for its people and finally end the era of Al-Shabab’s terror.