Al-Shabaab base destroyed in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - An operation carried out by the Somali National Army [SNA] and international partners left an Al-Shabaab base destroyed in Somalia, a senior government official said, noting that several militants may have also been killed in the process.
Interior and Federal Affairs minister Ahmed Fiqi said the base was destroyed near Harardhere town within Dumaaye village. The international partners have been actively participating in the crackdown against Al-Shabaab militants who control central and southern parts of the country.
A source who spoke to Voice of America said the airstrike targeted the site used by al-Shabaab which is locally known as Xerta Sheikh Mohamed Rage Center, about 500 meters south of Dumaaye. The militants use the site for logistics when launching attacks across the country, the source added.
"A joint operation by the Somali Security Forces and international allies has hit a major Al-Shabab base in Dumaye, Harardere district, killing many terrorists and their leaders," state media confirmed without giving actual numbers of casualties in the operation which was termed "successful".
Classified military sources termed the airstrike as "timely and significant " in the fight against Al-Shabaab. Dozens of the militants may have lost their lives, a critical comeback for the military after losing soldiers in Cawsweyne village in Lower Shabelle last week, in an attack which the government is yet to give full disclosure.
The operation comes at the time Somali National Army is preparing yet for another outing which would focus on Jubaland and Southwest states. The second phase of operations would see military officers from Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia joining, outside the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] ranks.
ATMIS and the US Africa Command have been closely working in nurturing and equipping the Somali National Army as the foreign troops prepare for exit from the Horn of Africa nation. The drawdown which started in June 2023, will yet again see 3,000 soldiers conclude their mission in Somalia.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud maintains that his administration would work extra hard to eliminate the militants, but in an interview on Friday, he admitted that organizers should have not scheduled the exit of ATMIS troops from Somalia this month.