US airstrike in Somalia kills 12 Al-Shabab militants

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) said it has recently executed a self-defense strike in Somalia to support the Somali National Army’s campaign against the Al-Shabab extremist group. 

The strike took place in a remote location approximately 45 km southwest of Hobyo and 472 km northeast of Mogadishu, Somalia.

According to a statement from AFRICOM, the preliminary assessment indicated that the strike resulted in the death of 12 al-Shabab militants. The remote location of the strike ensured that there were no civilian casualties.

The ongoing support provided by the US to the Somali government is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to counter the Al-Shabab terrorist group.This support came after President Joe Biden approved a Pentagon request to redeploy US troops in the area, a decision that reversed former President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of all US troops from the country in 2020. 

AFRICOM operates as a crucial component of the US government’s comprehensive approach in Africa, incorporating diplomacy, development, and defense efforts. 

Gen. Michael Langley, AFRICOM commander, highlighted that AFRICOM’s role is only one aspect of the US efforts in Somalia. The Department of State and the US Agency for International Development also have programs to promote resilience, improve agriculture, increase trade, and promote democracy and good governance.

In recent months, US forces have carried out several strikes in the region that have resulted in significant casualties among Al-Shabab militants.  

For instance, last month, the US carried out a strike that killed approximately 30 Al-Shabab fighters, according to AFRICOM. In October, a US strike resulted in the death of two members of the terrorist group, while a subsequent strike in November killed 17 fighters. A US strike in late December resulted in the death of six Al-Shabab militants near the city of Cadale.