ADDIS ABEBA – U.S. Africa Command said it has conducted an airstrike in Somalia n Thursday killing at least 13 terrorists with no civilian deaths.
The airstrike targeting an ISIS-Somalia encampment in the Golis Mountains was carried out in coordination with the federal government of Somalia, said the command’s statement sent to The Monitor.
“We are supporting our Somali and AMISOM partners with increased, mature intelligence sharing,” said Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, U.S. Africa Command director of intelligence.
“There is a deliberate campaign underway, that is intelligence-driven, that capitalizes on what we learn during each operation and rapidly leveraging that information to drive the next operation, including discovering where terrorists may be training, massing, and preparing to commit atrocities.”
Africom said its precision airstrikes have killed “thirteen terrorists” , and “no civilians were injured or killed”..
The strike comes less than a month after the command said it carried out an airstrike that killed Abdulhakim Dhuqub, who it identified as the second-in-command of Islamic State in Somalia.
Formed in October 2015, Abnaa ul-Calipha was recognized by ISIS central as an official wilayat, or province, in December 2017 and it was named Islamic State Somalia province.
The group operates in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia and is estimated to have around 300 active fighters. Abnaa ul-Calipha is a splinter group from al-Shabaab, and the latter has ordered the killing of defectors. U.S. Africa Command began carrying out airstrikes against the group in November 2017.
Africom has carried out 30 airstrikes in Somalia in 2019, compared to 47 in 2018 and 35 in 2017, according to AFP news agency.