The Somali National Army carried out an operation on the border between the Middle Shabelle and Galgaduud regions on Friday, the government confirmed, killing at least ten al-Shabab militants and injuring dozens The operation was carried out by joint forces, according to the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism, in response to information from the National Intelligence and Security Agency that the militants were planning attacks on the locals and had regrouped. According to the Ministry, the army not only defeated the militants during the operation but also seized weapons, a truck, and destroyed the militants’ base.
Earlier this week Abdirahman Yusuf Al-adala, the deputy minister of information, culture, and tourism, stated that the Somali National Army (SNA) had killed 25 al-Shabab militants in the southwest Somalian region of Bakool, including foreign jihadists. This offensive against the militants unfolds just four days after al-Shabab orchestrated a suicide bombing attack at the Jaalle Siyaad Military Academy in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in which at least 30 soldiers perished.
In August 2022, Mohamud launched a “total war” against al-Shabaab. In the first phase, Somali forces concentrated on the central regions of Hirshabelle and Galmudug, supporting local clans that were rebelling against al-Shabaab. The terrorist group had seen public support deteriorate in those areas after it raised taxes on residents to make up for losses incurred from an economic downturn and natural disasters, disregarding the effects of the policy on people’s livelihoods.
Al-Shabaab was driven out of areas it had ruled for more than ten years during the first stage, which was the most successful offensive since 2016. The government then launched phase two in March 2023 to combat al-Shabaab in the south. However, given the planned withdrawal of foreign troops and the fact that southern clans haven’t demonstrated the same propensity to turn against al-Shabaab, concerns remain about Somalia’s ability to hold the areas it has liberated and expand its territory.