A senior Al-Shabaab leader, Osman Mohamed Abdi, was injured during a joint operation by the Somali National Army and its international allies in Jilib, located in the middle Jubba region.
According to an official statement released by the Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Information, Abdi was the head of external operations responsible for recruiting and smuggling foreign fighters to Somalia to help Al-Shabaab and spreading propaganda.
The operation was carried out with the support of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), which targeted a location where Abdi was believed to be hiding.
AFRICOM spokesman Lieutenant Commander Timothy S. Pietrack confirmed that the US Army had conducted an airstrike and that Abdi was injured as a result. “Following a comprehensive battle damage assessment, U.S.-AFRICOM has determined that one al-Shabab leader was injured as a result of the operation,” the spokesman told journalists on Tuesday.
The targeting of top Al-Shabaab leaders is an indication that the militants will not find a safe place to hide in the country as the National Army steps up efforts to completely push the terrorists out of the country.
Government officials have expressed their commitment to eradicating Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group that has been responsible for a series of attacks in Somalia and neighboring countries.
Al-Shabaab, which has been linked to Al-Qaeda, hasbeen waging an insurgency in Somalia for over a decade, seeking to overthrow the government and impose its own strict version of Islamic law. The group has been responsible for numerous deadly attacks, including the 2013 Westgate mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, which killed 67 people.
The joint operation in Jilib is part of a wider effort by the Somali government and its allies to counter the threat posed by Al-Shabaab.
The Federal Government of Somalia has been working closely with its international partners to build up the capacity of its security forces and to provide them with the necessary equipment and training to take on the militants.
The US, in particular, has been providing significant support to the Somali National Army in its fight against Al-Shabaab, including training and equipment.
The injured Al-Shabaab leader, Osman Mohamed Abdi, is a key figure in the group’s external operations, responsible for recruiting foreign fighters and spreading propaganda. His injury is a significant blow to the group’s capabilities and its ability to carry out attacks.
The targeting of top leaders within the group sends a message that there is no safe haven for terrorists in Somalia, and that they will be pursued and brought to justice wherever they may behiding.