International

US airstrikes kill 15 suspected Al Shabaab militants

The United States military says targeted air strikes against suspected terrorists in Somalia have killed 15.

A US Africa Command statement says the air strikes occurred in the vicinity of Gandarshe, Lower Shabelle region, on Wednesday and in the vicinity of Bariire in the same region on Thursday.

The air strikes killed 11 and four people, respectively, after Somali troops engaged the terrorists. The statement says no civilians were harmed.

These are the latest in a dramatic uptick in US air strikes in the Horn of Africa nation since President Donald Trump took office.

The Al Qaida-affiliated Al Shabaab terrorist group once controlled large swathes of Somalia. African Union forces have succeeded in pushing it from major cities.

Al Shabaab, the deadliest militant group in Africa, continues with attacks in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya.

Tom Wilson

Trump as dramatically increased use of airstrikes in Somalia after relaxing Obama era legislation that had required vetting by multiple agencies and could only be approved if the target posed a “continuing, imminent threat” to the US. 47 strikes last year, and 12 so far in 2019

Tom Wilson

@thomas_m_wilson
Strikes have taken a huge toll on rank and file of al Shabaab with 326 killed last year, and 115 killed so far in 2019, but left senior leadership largely in tact and failed significantly reduce the groups ability stage terror attacks inside and outside of Somalia pic.twitter.com/f1LUyZjaqJ

 

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