U.S. military conducts strike in Somalia targeting Al-Shabaab
NAIROBI, Kenya - The US Africa Command has confirmed eliminating over 30 Al-Shabaab militants in the latest confrontation, a figure which corroborates data given by the Somali National Army [SNA] following the deadly ambush at Gal'ad town on Friday morning which targeted an army base.
The Somali government confirmed the attack shortly after the incident in Gal'ad town, noting that over 30 militants were killed and 5 armoured vehicles used by the terrorists recovered. The government also announced the death of Major Hassan Osman Mohamed alias Hassan Tuure, who was the deputy commander of the Danab Special forces.
Seven other soldiers were killed during the raid which was activated moments after the Al-Shabaab had technically pulled out of the town, paving way for the entry of the soldiers, who announced a takeover of the strategic town along with Haradhere, which were major income earners for Al-Shabaab.
In a statement, the US Africa Command said the army managed to kill over 30 militants after they waged the attack at Gal'ad town, noting that three vehicles were destroyed in a new “collective self-defense airstrike” conducted on January 20 following the militant group’s complex attack on Somali forces.
Al-Shabaab’s complex, extended, intense attack on Galcad was carried out by more than 100 al-Shabaab fighters, the US military reported. It’s unclear how many Somali soldiers were at the base at the time of the attack. The Somali government confirmed that 7 soldiers were killed in the attack, adding that Al-Shabaab lost over 100 fighters.
The Al-Shabaab militants separately claimed they managed to kill over 156 Somali National Army soldiers, adding that 45 armoured vehicles were confiscated from the government troops. The militants went to display the confiscated vehicles at a location that was not immediately disclosed.
In most instances, the US Africa Command works closely with the Danab Special forces, who are trained and equipped by the Americans. Danab Special Forces have been working closely with the US Africa Command, and have been conducting operations in the last five months within central Somalia and parts of southern Somalia.
The US Africa Command resumed airstrikes in Somalia sometime last year following an outcry from members of the public who noted an increase in Al-Shabaab attacks across the country. AFRICOM had withdrawn troops from Somalia in 2021 after an executive order by former President Donald Trump, which was later reversed by Joe Biden.