US airstrike in Somalia kills one Al-Shabab militant
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The US military says it launched an airstrike against the extremist group al-Shabab in southern Somalia following an attack on an American military base, Garowe Online reports.
The US Africa Command [AFRICOM] said in a statement the drone strike was conducted near the town of Jilib in the Middle Juba region in southern Somalia, killing at least one extremist on Nov. 12.
"Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike," read the statement in part.
U.S. Africa Command said it will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.
The U.S. has carried out more than 24 such strikes this year, more than half the number in all of 2018. Several have had death tolls in the double digits, including one in mid-January that killed 52 fighters and one in late January that killed 24.
The new airstrike comes after Al-Shabaab staged a massive car bomb and gun attack on a major US drone base in Ballidoogle in Lower Shabelle region last month and inflicted casualties on Somali and American soldiers.
While the U.S. statement said the airstrikes are meant to degrade al-Shabab's ability to co-ordinate attacks, the carnage showed that Africa's deadliest Islamic extremist group still has the ability to strike in the heart of the capital.
The U.S. has dramatically increased airstrikes against al-Shabab since President Donald Trump took office.
Authorities and experts acknowledge that it will take more than airstrikes to defeat the extremist group, which holds large parts of rural central and southern Somalia.