Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced Friday that it had conducted a collective self-defense strike supporting the Somali National Army (SNA) engagements against al-Shabab.
The strike took place approximately 260 km northeast of Mogadishu near Galcad, Somalia, where SNA forces were engaged in heavy fighting following a complex, extended, and intense attack by more than 100 al-Shabab fighters.
According to AFRICOM, the combined actions by partner forces on the ground and the collective self-defense strike is estimated to have resulted in three destroyed vehicles and approximately thirty al-Shabab terrorists killed.
The command also stated that given the remote location of the fighting, it assessed that no civilians were injured or killed.
The U.S. is one of several countries supporting the Federal Government of Somalia’s ongoing campaign to disrupt, degrade, and defeat terrorist groups.
The U.S. Africa Command is the defense arm of the U.S. whole-of-government approach with African partners, which includes diplomacy, development, and defense.
“Somalia remains central to stability and security in all of East Africa. U.S. Africa Command’s forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to help give them the tools they need to defeat al-Shabab, the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world,” the statement read.
Somali National Army announced a decisive victory on Friday, as they successfully repelled an attack on a military base in Galcad, a town in the central Somalia region.
According to a government statement, the SNA forces effectively neutralized a substantial number of al-Shabab militants, with an estimated 100 extremists being eliminated during the confrontation.
The SNA also suffered casualties, with seven soldiers losing their lives in the early morning attack. Among the dead was a senior US-trained Somali national army commando Hassan Ture.
Al-Shabab, fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that their fighters killed 159 government forces. However, it is not uncommon for the al-Qaida-affiliated group to inflate casualty figures during battles with government security forces.
The U.S. Africa Command says it will continue to assess the results of this operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units and assets used will not be released to ensure operations security.