US military kills senior Al-Shabaab commanders in Somalia


MOGADISHU, Somalia - For the second time within a week, the US Africa Command has confirmed firing drones in Al-Shabaab villages within Somalia, with the latest killing of three Al-Shabaab commanders in interior parts of Jubaland where the second phase of operations against the group is set to start.

According to the US Africa Command, in a statement, the army conducted the airstrike following a request by the federal government of Somalia. The airstrike was conducted at Wayanta neighbourhoods in Jubaland, approximately 60 kilometers southwest of Kismayo.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed, the command said, as an assurance of civilian protection as enshrined in international law. The US Africa Command has been playing an integral role in pursuing the Al-Shabaab group within Somalia.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has publicly stated that economic reform, social and political reconciliation, and religious tolerance are key pillars of his strategy to mobilize society against international terrorism. Military actions are just one part of the Federal Government of Somalia’s efforts to comprehensively address their security challenges, the Command said.

"The U.S. is one of several countries providing humanitarian aid, stabilization efforts, economic development, and military assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia in their ongoing campaign," read the statement from the US army.

"U.S. Africa Command is the defense arm of the U.S. whole-of-government approach with African partners -- diplomacy, development, and defense. This three-pronged, or “3D” approach brings together multiple agencies from within the U.S. government to increase cooperation and support for partner-led, U.S.-enabled solutions to shared security challenges, including violent extremism or terrorism."

Somalia remains central to stability and security in all of East Africa. U.S. Africa Command's forces train, advise, and assist partner forces to help give them the tools they need to defeat al-Shabaab, the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world, it further said.

In the next few weeks, the federal government of Somalia is set to activate campaigns against Al-Shabaab militants with Jubaland and Southwest states being on target. The first phase operation targeted HirShabelle and Galmadug states, with the government confirming that over 3,000 militants were killed.


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