The Somalian desert ran red with blood after more than one hundred al-Shabab (a local branch of Al Qaeda) operatives were killed by a US airstrike on Tuesday. As per a Pentagon announcement, the US military launched strikes against al-Shabab, an Al Qaeda affiliate group and also on ISIS fighters in order to support the Somalian government in the war-torn country. The airstrike took place 125 miles north-west of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu and it makes for the 7th such strike since November 9.
Here’s Pentagon’s official statement:
U.S. Conducts Airstrike in Support of the Federal Government of Somalia
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Somalia against an al-Shabaab camp on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at approximately 10:30 a.m. local Somalia time, killing more than 100 militants. The operation occurred 125 miles northwest of the capital, Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world. Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the U.S. and our partners in the region.
U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF); targeting terrorists, their training camps and safe havens throughout Somalia, the region and around the world. Our political and security goals in Somalia are the same: a reconstituted Somali state at peace internally and able to address all threats within its territory.
There are more than five hundred Defense Department employees deployed in Somalia, including civilians/contractors, not to mention military personnel. That’s more than double the figure that has been reported in March 2017. The Al Qaeda affiliated Al Shabab terrorist network has been a prime target of US airstrikes in recent months.
Al Shabab already has a number of high profile terrorist attack under its belt, as the group is responsible for one of the most horrific suicide bombings in recent memory, a truck attack which killed over three hundred civilians in October. These airstrikes were made possible by President Trump’s order from back in April, an order which granted new powers to take decisions to the chief of Africa Command, i.e. the ability to proceed with precision airstrikes in support of Somali/African Union troops fighting against terrorists in Somalia. Previous to the President’s order, such strikes were forbidden, as they could be conducted only in self defense of American forces.