US-trained forces gear up offensives against Al-Shabaab in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - US-trained Somali Special Forces [Danab] have recaptured three key villages in Lower Juba region from Al-Shabaab militants, an army chief officer said, Garowe Online reports.
Hassan Aden, a senior commander who led the operation said the elite troops launched a premeditated offensive to recover Abdi-Dore, Berhani, and Hadwayne villages which had been under Al-Shabab rule.
Speaking to Garowe Online via phone, Aden added the forces are still continuing with the operation to ensure all the militants are flushed out of the nearby areas they still have control on.
“We did not encounter much resistance from the militants during the takeover of the new villages. When they heard the Danab forces were heading to their bases, they withdrew immediately,” he said.
A local resident says the soldiers began security operations in search of Al-Shabaab members hiding in the liberated areas and asked the villagers to be more vigilant from counter-attacks by the group.
The capture of the fresh areas added to several others regained in the recent by the combined Somali and AU forces and is gradually reducing the militant group's hold of the regions in southern Somalia.
Danab, meaning Lightning in the Somali language often takes part in the US raids against Al-Shabaab hideouts in Somalia and has been active in the battlefields for the past years.
The decade-long presence of extremists in Somalia has brought suffering to neighboring countries, including Kenya from massive attacks of high-profile targets, to kidnappings of aid workers for alleged ransom.