US military carries out airstrike in Somalia targeting Al-Shabab
MOGADISHU, Somalia — The U.S. military has carried out an airstrike against Al-Shabab in Somalia as the Trump administration quietly steps up efforts against the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa, Garowe Online reports.
The U.S. Africa Command said one militant was killed in the airstrike which was conducted on Monday in the vicinity of Dujuuma located Middle Juba region that is entirely controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group.
“We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike,” read the statement.
U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Bradford J. Gering, deputy director of AFRICOM operations said Somali Army and their partners have made significant strides in targeting Al-Shabab in recent months.
Gering added that U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.
The United States has dramatically ramped up airstrikes against Al-Shabab in Somalia since President Donald Trump took office January 20, 2017, carrying out at least 60 such strikes this year alone.
Some have targeted top Al-Shabab leaders or key financial officials; the group funds its attacks with an extensive network of “taxation” collecting from both its strongholds and areas under Government control.
Al-Shabab faces a number of fronts, including from a small presence of rival fighters linked to the Islamic State [ISIS] based in Puntland state, which has begun challenging the group in recent years.