Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced conducting an airstrike on July 19, targeting al-Shabab militants in central Somalia.
The “collective self-defense” airstrike took place in a remote area near Hareeri Kalle, about 15 kilometers south of Galcad. Five al-Shabab militants lost their lives in the operation.
AFRICOM stated that the strike supported the ongoing efforts of the Somali National Army against al-Shabab.
The federal government of Somalia had requested the intervention, reflecting the shared commitment to tackle the extremist threat.
AFRICOM is in the process of assessing the results of the operation. Once the assessments were complete, the command stated it would provide further “as appropriate” information.
The battle against Al-Shabab
Since 2006, the Somali government has been locked in a bitter struggle against al-Shabab militants for over a decade.
Despite successfully driving the group out of major cities, al-Shabab still holds significant control in the country’s rural areas.
In August 2022, the Somali army, supplemented by local fighters, embarked on a significant military offensive.
The campaign wrestled control of parts of central Somalia from the militant group.
However, the militants have retaliated by launching attacks on military bases and causing substantial casualties among government forces in the south and central regions.
International support for Somalia
In discussion with VOA this week, the national security adviser for Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Hussein Sheikh-Ali, shared that the Somali government anticipates a financial influx in December.
An international donor conference for the Somali security sector will take place in New York.
Co-sponsored by six countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar—and the European Union, the conference aims to bolster Somalia’s efforts in combating al-Shabab.
“We are expecting something that would take Somalia up to 2027 when Somalia believes we can take over to fund our security forces completely,” said Ali.
To fortify its defense against al-Shabab, the Somali government receives support from an African Union force and independent Ethiopian forces, who also combat the extremist group.
Several countries, including the United States, Turkey, Eritrea, and the United Arab Emirates, contribute by providing training to the Somali National Army.
The concerted efforts from the international community underline the significance of defeating al-Shabab, a task that will undoubtedly contribute to the broader goal of achieving peace and stability in the region.