In a successful operation against Al-Shabaab militants, the Somali National Army’s elite Danab Commandos have killed at least thirteen militants and seized an arsenal of weapons. The operation took place at the outskirts of Yaaqdabayl village in Lower Jubba region.
Confirming the operation, Danab Commando’s Commander Lt. Col. Ahmed Abdullahi Nur stated that the government forces seized seven AK47 rifles, one rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), and one PMK machine gun during the operation.
This latest operation comes amidst an ongoing war by the Somali National Army against the Al-Shabaab militants, as the national forces prepare to take over from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), which has started its drawdown of 2,000 troops from the country.
Recently, troops from the Burundi National Defense Forces (BNDF) handed over the Haji-Ali Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Hirshabelle to the Somali National Army in a ceremony attended by senior officials from SNA, ATMIS, and UNSOS.
Xaaji Cali is located about 70km northeast of Mogadishu. It is part of seven FOBs to be handed over from ATMIS to the SNA by the end of June 2023. In January, ATMIS handed over Maslah FOB to the Federal Government of Somalia.
The drawdown of the 2,000 ATMIS troops is expected to be concluded by the end of June.
The Somali National Army is taking over the lead in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
Starting in August 2022, the Somali government launched a fresh offensive against Al-Shabaab, capitalising on mounting discontent with the Islamist insurgency, particularly among the politically dominant Hawiye clan. The operation has yielded the most comprehensive territorial
gains since the mid-2010s, as soldiers fighting alongside clan militias dislodge Al-Shabaab militants from significant parts of central Somalia. Emboldened by clan backing and foreign support, Mogadishu now aims to send soldiers into Al-Shabaab’s southern strongholds.