US army releases video of airstrikes at Al-Shabaab compounds
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The US Africa Command has released a video of two airstrikes that targeted Al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Kunya-barrow, Lower Shabelle during the new year, just hours after asking for time to assess the damages and casualties from the operation.
Even before the US Africa Command released the video, pro-Alshabaab media had displayed photos of the bad wreckages of Al-Furqan radio, which is one of the militants' mouthpieces, and that had been on the radar from security forces for a long time.
Both Al-Furqan radio and Andalus are known for propelling Al-Shabaab propaganda in Somalia to the advantage of the militants. The US Africa Command did not, however, confirm if indeed the target was the two radio stations, which are often accused of spreading falsehoods.
The US Africa Command said both strikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Current assessments, it added, indicate the strikes killed three and wounded one al-Shabaab member and destroyed six and damaged one Al-Shabaab compound buildings.
The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation. We take significant measures to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict during the course of our operations while we continue to disrupt and apply pressure to the al-Shabaab terrorist network.
"This action clearly demonstrates our continuing commitment to Somalia and our regional partners," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, director of operations for U.S. Africa Command. "We retain the means and the will to strike the al-Shabaab terrorist network when necessary to protect the region and ultimately, our own nation.”
U.S. Africa Command and its international partners recognize the importance of stability in Somalia. Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to the U.S. and regional security interests, read a press release from the command.
"Al-Shabaab remains a threat to Somalia’s future and U.S. interests, and we will continue to disrupt their efforts to terrorize innocents,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, Joint Task Force-Quartz commander. “Our strikes help keep these terrorists off balance to help our partners then address deeper problems such as governance and development.”
U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with East African countries to help provide political, economic, and physical stability in the region and to work with international and African partners to achieve long-term security goals in Somalia for the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States, it stated.