Somalia: US-backed forces capture bases from Al-Shabab
JOWHAR, Somalia - U.S.-backed Somali special forces were reported to have successfully captured strategically important bases from Al-Shabab militants in the south on Tuesday, Garowe Online reports.
Somalia’s Special Forces unit is known as the Danab, along with American soldiers launched a surprise dawn attack on towns controlled by the al-Shabab, sparking a heavy gunfight with the extremists.
"The allied troops retook Bulo-Konto, Dangiga Balow, Basro and Garasweyne villages in Middle Shabelle region and is now in full control," Abdifitah Haji, a local official, told Garowe Online by phone.
Hajji said the capture came after an operation by the Somali and their allied U.S. forces, noting there was a short resistance as Al-Shabab militants vacated the area following reports of troops' movement.
The U.S. military advisers provide substantial air and ground support to the Somali National Army [SNA] and the African Union forces in the battling against the Al-Shabab.
"The liberated areas were used to train young recruits by Al-Shabab to join the Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group," he added.
The official did not comment on possible casualties on the troops.
This came as Somali and foreign forces, including AMISOM, have increased ground and air offensives against the militant group Al-Shabaab which still controls large swathes of territory in the south and central regions.
Somali Federal Government is pushing for the quick integration of federal and state security forces to take the security responsibility from the AU forces who are expected to pull out from the Horn of Africa nation in 2020.