The U.S. and Somali militias have claimed responsibility for the killings of seven al-Shabaab militants.
Laban Walloga / Nation Media / Gallo Images / Getty Imag
- The U.S. and Somali militaries have claimed responsibility for the deaths of seven al-Shabaab militants in two months.
- The latter were killed Sunday in an airstrike.
- The US says its military is authorized to carry out attacks in defense of designated “partner power”.
The United States on Sunday killed two al-Shabaab militants in an airstrike, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Africom) said in a statement.
No civilians were injured or killed in the attack, it said.
“In coordination with Somalia’s federal government, US Africa Command has launched an air strike against al-Shabaab terrorists after attacking partner forces at a remote location near Libikus, Somalia. [on] 17 July 2022.
“The first assessment of the command is that two al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in action and that no civilians were injured or killed, given the distance from where this involvement took place,” Africom said.
This was the second attack since US President Joe Biden ordered the return of US troops to Somalia in May.
In the previous attack – near Beer Xaani, another remote location in Somalia – the US was responsible for killing five insurgents on 3 June.
The US said it and Somali troops “are taking major steps to prevent civilian casualties. These efforts contrast with the random attacks that al-Shabaab regularly conducts against the civilian population”.
American interests in Somalia
U.S. involvement in Somalia can be traced back to the early 1990s when it worked with the United Nations in providing humanitarian aid.
According to Just Security – a forum that analyzes US national security, foreign policy and rights – the “Battle of Mogadishu” in October 1993 marked the arrival of US troops.
“Although that conflict was primarily against Somali warlords who hindered the distribution of food aid, the battle was a harbinger of the kind of fighting that the United States will face in the post-9/11 period in operations against terrorism, “said Just Security.
Eventually, US Special Operations Forces (SOF) were held hostage by militants and sympathetic locals.
It was reported that 19 U.S. soldiers were killed, 73 wounded, one taken prisoner, and two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down. However, hundreds of Somalis, including civilians, were killed.
Lawrence Wright, in his book with the title The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, claims that al-Qaeda al-Qaeda was already operating in Somalia at that time.
Commenting on the current fight against al-Shabaab, Africom said: “US troops are authorized to go on strike in defense of designated partner forces.”
Al Shabaab problem
Just Security noted that al-Shabaab has adjusted in the face of pressure.
“It has adopted hit and run guerrilla tactics against African mission to Somalia instead of trying to defend territory,” the organization said.
Therefore, most attacks on Al Shabaab are carried out at remote locations where they hide.
Africom said in a statement:
Violent extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab present long-term threats to Somali, regional and American interests.
This makes them a priority target for the US and its partner forces.
In May, the UN Security Council briefing on Somalia said that terrorism, humanitarian crises and the economy were top priorities and that international partners would give Somalia’s new president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud all the support he needed.
The International Crisis Group noted that since al-Shabaab’s deadly uprising continues unabated, dialogue should be given a chance.
“Postponing efforts to engage militants in the hope of gaining military supremacy or greater unity among elites will prolong the conflict indefinitely. The government would have to seek discrete channels for al-Shabaab leaders to test. whether political negotiations and confidence-building steps could be possible, “the organization said in its latest report on Somalia.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation
US, Somali militants claim to have killed two al-Shabaab militants in airstrike
Source link US, Somali militants claim to have killed two al-Shabaab militants in airstrike