US Conducts Airstrike in Somalia amid troops Relocation

ADDIS ABEBA – The US Africa command said it has conducted a new airstrike in Somalia targeting an Al-Shabaab compound in the vicinity of Saakow on Thursday.

This is the 51st strike that the US command carried an attack inside the Horn of African nation in 2020 and the 196th since 2017, killing about 1,000 Al-Shabaab fighters, as per ⁦US Africa Command.

Officials of the command said they are currently assessing whether civilians were injured or killed as a result of the airstrike.

“U.S. Africa Command continues to maintain a sharp focus on East African threats,” said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, U.S. Africa Command director of intelligence, in a statement issued today.

“Al-Shabaab seeks to not only destroy governance and security in Somalia but target innocent civilians in Kenya and elsewhere. We will continue to monitor and maintain pressure on the network,” Berg added.

U.S. Africa Command said it will continue to work with international and African partners to ensure long-term security in Somalia/  

It is the second similar attack the Command carried out in Somalia since President Donald Trump decided to pull U.S. troops out of Somalia in the waning days of his presidency. The other airstrikes against al-Shabab explosives experts were conducted on Dec 10.

The decision triggered dismay among some Somalis, who are now appealing to the incoming U.S. president, Joe Biden, to reverse it.

U.S. troops have been in Somalia, mostly supporting Somali special forces known as Danab in operations against al Shabaab, whose attacks in nations like Kenya and Uganda have killed hundreds of civilians, including Americans.

Featured Image: The Pentagon has already sent several naval vessels and a marine expeditionary unit to the coast of Somalia this month to support an operation repositioning hundreds of U.S. troops to bases elsewhere in East Africa. [Photo courtesy of the US Navy)