US military confirms death of senior Al-Shabaab commander in Somalia
MOGADISHU - The US military has confirmed the death of a senior Al-Shabaab leader who was killed over the weekend, following a coordinated raid that was organized jointly with the Somali National Army, in the ongoing crackdown against the militants who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
Abdullahi Nadir, a close associate of former Al-Shabaab boss Ahmed Godan and the current leader Abu Ubaidah, was killed on Saturday near Jilib town, which is at times considered the headquarters of the Al-Qaida linked group, about 370 kilometers Southwest of Mogadishu.
The airstrike, US Africa Command noted, left only Nadir dead and no civilian was injured or killed. "U.S. Africa Command takes great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting innocent civilians remains a vital part of the command’s operations to promote a more secure and stable Africa," the command said.
The US army further insisted that Al-Shabaab is the largest and most kinetically active al-Qaeda network in the world and has proved both its will and capability to attack U.S. forces and threaten U.S. security interests. U.S. Africa Command, alongside its partners, it added, continues to take action to prevent this malicious terrorist group from planning and conducting attacks on civilians.
"Somalia remains key to the security environment in East Africa. U.S. Africa Command’s forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to give them the tools that they need to degrade al-Shabaab," read the statement which was issued on Monday.
U.S. Africa Command, the statement also clarified, will continue to assess the results of the operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security.
Nadir was one of the co-founders of Al-Shabaab and was popularly known as Abdullahi Yare. He held various positions in the group and the US had placed a $3 million bounty on his head news about his death is the greatest relief given his influence within the group, which is determined to fight the Somalia government.