The US military confirmed that its special forces conducted three precision airstrikes in Somalia on Wednesday night, killing seven Al-Shabaab fighters. The US Africa Command (Africom) said on Thursday that the joint operation with Somalia security forces occurred in Jilib, Somalia, about 320km southwest of Mogadishu, XInhua news agency reported.

“We will continue to assess the results of the operation and will provide additional information as appropriate,” Africom said in a statement.

“Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operational security,” it said.

Al-Shabaab militants have not publicly commented on the latest airstrikes against their strong-holds so far.

“The US forces work closely with Somali military forces against Al-Shabaab in Somalia to degrade the Al-Qaida affiliate’s ability to recruit, train, and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and in the US,” Africom said.

The military said Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorists.

“Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the US and our allies. We continue to work in coordination with our Somali partners and allies to systematically dismantle Al-Shabaab and help achieve stability and security throughout the region,” it said.

The militants have recently increased their attacks against Africa Union and Somali forces especially in Mogadishu and southern Somalia, which has seen a surge of attacks that resulted in the loss of several strategic towns although the militants mainly held those towns briefly.

The AMISOM and Somali forces have also increased airstrikes in southern Somalia in the recent past, resulting in the killing of several militants and some defections.

 

First Published | 18 August 2017 7:49 AM
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