Al-Shabaab loses control of strategic stronghold in central Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The efforts by the Somali National Army [SNA] to dislodge Al-Shabaab militants have paid off, with the group losing a strategic region in central Somalia, just as the military continues with operations across the country, targeting some of the areas the militants have dominated for over a decade.
According to the state media, Al-Shabaab lost Barag Mohamed Daud area within Mudug in central Somalia, following an operation by the Somali National Army which has been combing the area. The multi-agency security teams played a key role in the first phase of operations against Al-Shabaab.
Major General Abdi Salad, who led the successful operations, said he was optimistic that more regions will be liberated from the Al-Shabaab militants, who have controlled large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia for the last 16 years of terror and sabotage.
"Al-Shabaab terrorists lose control of Barag Mohamed Daud area in Mudug region to Somali forces and local forces. Major General Abdi Salad led the successful operation. The terrorists on the run," state media reported.
The Somali National Army has been concentrating on central regions where Al-Shabaab is dominant, with the military keen on combing exercises. The first phase of operations left at least 3000 Al-Shabaab fighters dead in Galmadug and HirShabelle states, the government said.
Once operations in central Somalia are over, the military, along with the US Africa Command and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], will move to southern parts where they will face the militants in Jubaland and Southwest states.
The operations in Jubaland and Southwest states are set to be the last with the foreign troops set to leave the country after handing over security responsibilities to the national army. By December 2024, it is anticipated that Al-Shabaab would have been defeated completely.