Somalia Government to intensify assault against Al-Shabab with acquisition of 68 storm armored vehicles

The Somalia government is set to increase its offensive against the Al-Shabab with the acquisition of 68 armored personnel carriers (APCs) from Qatar.

On Thursday, Somalia Defense Minister Hassan Ali Mohamed and Somali Chief of Defense forces Dahir Adan Elmi received the vehicle donated by the Qatar government, in what is a major boost in the fight of the terrorist group.

They will be used to combat Al-Shabab , and other terror groups in the  country , especially in areas where there is a high risk from improvised explosive devices (IEDs

The Storm is made by Qatar’s Stark Motors, which was established in 2017 as the country’s first armored vehicle manufacturer. The vehicle is based on a Toyota Land Cruiser 79 series chassis, powered by a 4.5 litre V8 turbodiesel developing 195 hp

According to Stark Motors, the vehicle is armored to CEN B6 level protection, and this covers the engine, sidewalls, roof, windshield, underbody and doors. The floor is protected against two DM 51 German ordnance hand grenades. The vehicles have a weapon station for a machinegun or automatic grenade launcher above the troop compartment.

A in the recent past, there has been a  sharp rise in US-led airstrikes  against the militants ..Despite the increased strikes, al-Shabab’s core capabilities remain solid.

The group has not lost control of territory in central and southern parts of Somalia, where it is trying to set up its own administration, including raising taxes from the local population.

These are vast areas – far larger than the urban centers that the federal government controls in the same regions.

Qatar, a close ally of federal governs of Somalia has been operating in the country for more than a decade. Last year, the Qatar government handed over 30 new brand Toyota land cruisers to Somali government.