Somalia’s defense minister promises victory during frontline visit
Al-Shabaab has lost key leaders in the US airstrikes, including its leader Ahmed Godane and founder Aden Ayro.
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The US military said it carried out a drone strike against Al-Shabaab in central Somalia, killing 13 militants, the latest in a string of air raids aimed to degrade the group.
In a statement, the US Africa Command announced that the airstrike targeted A-Shabaab fighters after attacking Somali National Army forces in a remote location near Tedaan, on August 14, 2022. Tedaan is situated in the Hiran region, where clashes between Somali forces and the militants were ongoing since last month.
The command’s initial assessment is that the strikes killed 13 al-Shabaab terrorists and that no civilians were injured or killed. U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in defense of designated partner forces," said AFRICOM.
The statement added that the Federal Government of Somalia and the U.S. remain committed to fighting Al-Shabaab to prevent the deaths of innocent civilians.
Last May, US President Joe Biden reauthorized sending US troops to Somalia to re-start the counter-terrorism operation a year after his predecessor Donald Trump ordered a pull-out in early 2021.
The President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud welcomed the Biden decision to redeploy troops to his Horn of Africa country.
Around 700 US troops are back at their bases in Somalia and are currently engaging Al-Shabaab in support of the elite Somali forces [Danab], a unit that was formed by AFRICOM, trained and equipped to help the counter-terrorism operations.
Al-Shabaab, which is linked to Al-Qaeda has an estimated 10,000 fighters who are facing over 20,000 AU soldiers, the Somali army, and US airstrikes. The group poses a potent threat to the country.
For his part, the defense minister said the government is committed to fighting Al-Shabaab until ensuring all regions are free from Al-Shabaab and installing local administrations elected by local people.