The U.S. military command in Africa, known as AFRICOM, announced on Sunday that it had successfully carried out an airstrike in southern Somalia, resulting in the elimination of 13 al-Shabab militants.
This operation, conducted under the banner of “collective self-defense,” took place on August 26 in the vicinity of Seiera, a region located approximately 45 kilometers northwest of Kismayo.
AFRICOM disclosed that the airstrike was conducted in support of the Somali National Army, which has been actively engaged in combat against the al-Shabab insurgency.
The military command further stated that the strike was executed at the explicit request of the federal government of Somalia, underscoring the collaborative efforts between the United States and Somali authorities in countering the extremist threat.
This development comes on the heels of a brazen attack carried out by al-Shabab militants on a Somali army base in the central region of the country. The assault, which transpired in the recently liberated village of Owsweyne, situated approximately 20 kilometers from the Elbur district in the Galgadud region, resulted in a significant number of casualties among soldiers and commanders, as fears of fatalities loom over the incident.
While the Somali government asserted that its forces effectively repelled the attack, officials refrained from providing specific details regarding the number of casualties incurred during the engagement.
The gravity of the assault and the potential loss of life have prompted former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a close confidant of President Mohamud, to call for an independent investigation into the tragic incident in Owsweyne.
Al-Shabab, a militant group affiliated with al-Qaeda, has long posed a grave security threat to Somalia, perpetrating acts of terrorism with the aim of destabilizing the nation. The group has consistently targeted military installations, government facilities, and public spaces, inflicting significant harm on civilians and security personnel alike.
The United States, as part of its ongoing commitment to combat extremism and promote stability in the region, has been providing substantial support to the Somali National Army in its battle against al-Shabab. This includes intelligence sharing, training programs, and targeted airstrikes such as the recent operation in southern Somalia.
As the nation continues to grapple with the menace of al-Shabab, the international community stands in solidarity with Somalia, reaffirming its commitment to bolstering security, fostering stability, and supporting the Somali people’s aspirations for peace and prosperity. The airstrike conducted by the U.S. military serves as a potent symbol of this collective resolve in combating terrorism and advancing the cause of peace in the region.