ADDIS ABABA – An air strike in Somalia has killed a senior leader of of militant Islamist group al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command (Africom) announced today.
The “post-strike assessments confirm that one of the three terrorists killed in the command’s Apr. 2 precision airstrike was a long-standing, high-ranking leader in the al-Shabaab terrorist organization”, the Command said.
According to the U.S., Yusuf Jiis was one of the foundational members of the terrorist group and held many significant positions that facilitated al-Shabaab’s violent and harmful activities throughout East Africa.
“This individual was a key leader in the al-Shabaab organization,” said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command. “He was violent, ruthless, and responsible for the loss of many innocent lives. His removal makes Somalia and neighboring countries safer.”
U.S. Africa Command recent reports claim it has conducted a precision airstrike in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia.
The airstrike that killed Yusuf occurred in the vicinity of Bush Madina, Somalia, which is located in the Bay Region, approximately 135 miles west of Mogadishu.
Despite his death, US generals said continued efforts are required to create sustained security and stability in Somalia.
Al-Qaeda linked group still controls much of southern and central Somalia.
It has also carried out a wave of bombings in neighboring Kenya, and is regarded as the most dangerous militant group in the region.
In Feb, the group’s fighters attacked a base in Kenya used by Kenyan and US forces, killing three Americans – a US military service member and two contractors.
Image: members of the group that is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s government [Photo File/AFP]