US airstrike kills 6 Al-Shabab fighters in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The United States military has carried out an air strike in southern Somalia against al Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked Islamist insurgency on Sunday, 6th Jan., Garowe Online reports.
The U.S. Africa Command said in a statement on Monday the drone attack occurred in the vicinity of Dheerow Sanle, a rebel-held village in Lower Shabelle region, killing 6 militants and destroyed 1 vehicle.
This was the second air raid since the start of this new year targeting Al-Shabab that wants to topple the U.N.-backed weak Somali Federal government, which is protected by a 22,000 African Union soldiers.
Last week, the US military said it killed 10 extremists in a similar airstrike in the same area. According to AFRICOM assessment, no civilians were injured or killed in both aerial bombardments.
The use of air power in the unstable Horn of Africa country has been steadily increasing since Donald Trump became the US president as he gave local military commanders greater authority in ordering attacks.
The US military has also targeted a small number of fighters linked to the Islamic State group in the mountainous areas in Bari region of Puntland state, which situated northeastern Somalia.
The United State has increased its military presence in Somalia since early 2017 to about 500 personnel after Trump approved expanded military operations to degrade Al-Shabab and ISIL-affiliated militants.
Last year, two American special operations soldiers were killed in separate Al-Shabab attack in southern Somalia that also wounded four other US military personnel.