US military airstrike targets Al-Qaeda-linked militants in southern Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The US Africa Command in collaboration with the Somali National Army [SNA] fired at the Al-Shabaab militants on Saturday, it has emerged, leaving at least 13 militants dead and several others fatally injured, in the latest crackdown against the group which is stop dominant in Somalia.
Preliminary reports indicate that the US force unleashed a drone strike about 50 kilometers northwest of Kismayo, the regional administrative capital of Jubaland, killing the 13 terrorists who were probably preparing to wage an attack against innocent civilians in the country.
The Al-Shabaab have been dominating Lower Jubba for the last 16 years but the national army is in the process of unleashing against them, with the second phase of operations against the group scheduled to kick off in coming weeks. The operation will target Jubaland and Southwest states.
Lower and Middle Jubba are viewed as strategic areas where Al-Shabaab has been making gains and once liberated, the country could be on the path to major victory. The regional troops have been preparing to face the militants with the support of the national army and the US Africa Command.
Also actively involved in the operation are the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] troops, who work closely with other soldiers. The US Africa Command has been giving technical support to combat troops and in most cases, airstrikes are considered convenient.
This comes at the time President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, is expected to hold a press conference in Dhusamareb, and will reportedly take questions from independent journalists. His decision follows the Al Shabab attack on government forces in Casweyne.
According to reports, the government troops could have suffered immense losses in Oswein village [Cawsweyne], with former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed calling for an independent audit of the attack. The government has yet to issue a comprehensive statement regarding the attack.