US ramps up airstrikes against Al-Shabaab in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The U.S. military carried out two fresh airstrikes against Al-Shabaab in southern Somalia, killing 15 militants, Garowe Online reports.
The United States Africa Command [AFRICOM] said on Friday in a statement the drone strikes occurred near the towns of Gandarshe and Bariire in Lower Shabelle Region on Wednesday and Thursday, the 6th and 7th February.
"U.S. Africa Command assessed that the airstrike on February 7 killed four militants while the second raid on February 6 killed 11 militants. No civilians were injured or killed in either air strike, according to the statement.
This precision airstrike was executed after our Somali partners were engaged by al-Shabaab militants as they conducted an operation to disrupt al-Shabaab efforts to illegally tax and intimidate civilians in the area," said AFRICOM.
The U.S. military conducted at least 14 airstrikes in Somalia this year as part of the efforts to defeat Al Shabaab, which launches regular attacks against government officials, foreigners, hotels and restaurants in Mogadishu.
Last week, AFRICOM commander, Thomas Waldhauser admitted that the ongoing airstrikes are not going to defeat Al Shabaab, but, will give Somali army a chance to grow and take the security responsibility.
The U.S. is supporting Somalian forces as well as soldiers of the African Union in the fight against al-Shabaab, a group affiliated with the al-Qaeda.