Several Al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in airstrikes conducted on Thursday evening by the United States and Somali military forces in central region of the Horn of Africa nation.
The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said the first military strikes occurred in the Bay Region of Somalia, about 160 km west of the capital of Mogadishu.
“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Somalia against Al-Shabaab on Thursday at approximately 3 p.m. local Somalia time, killing several militants,” Africom said in a statement issued on Thursday night.
It said Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world.
“Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the United States and our partners in the region,” said Africom said.
It said its U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF); targeting terrorists, their training camps and safe havens throughout Somalia, the region and around the world.
The latest operation comes after Somalia and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces on Monday launched a massive security operation to flush out Al-Shabaab militants in Middle Shabelle region in southern region.
The pan African body plans to reduce its troops by 1,000 by December, followed by further cuts next year, an exercise expected to end by 2020 as part of its exit strategy.
However, AMISOM’s exit is also pegged on the ability of the Somali National Security Forces, particularly the SNA to ably take over the security of the country.