U.S. Airstrike kills 30 Somalis linked to terrorist group

The US Armed Forces carried out an attack in Somalia that led to the death of around thirty al-Shabaab combatants, US Africa Command said in a declaration on Saturday.

US forces executed a “collective self-defense strike” on Friday in support of Somali National Army forces who were engaged in a long and intense battle with more than one hundred al-Shabaab militants connected to al Qaeda, the statement described.

A US defense official revealed that no US military personnel were present on the ground when the airstrike occurred. The strike happened close to 260 kilometers northeast of the Somali capital Mogadishu, at Galcad.

US Africa Command determined that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of the remote location.

Since President Joe Biden approved a Pentagon plea to redeploy US troops to the area in an effort to counter the terrorist group in May 2022, the US has been providing continuous help to the Somali government.

The allowance to send fewer than five hundred troops was a reversal of the former President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw all US troops from the nation in 2020.

“Somalia is still vital to the stability and security of all East Africa. US Africa Command’s forces will continue to provide training, advice, and equipment to partner forces to give them the tools they need to defeat al-Shabaab, the most powerful and fatal al-Qaeda network in the world,” the US military declared in the Saturday statement.

US forces have conducted a number of strikes in the region in the past few months that have resulted in multiple al-Shabaab casualties. In October, a US strike killed two al-Shabaab members, while a subsequent November strike resulted in seventeen al-Shabaab fighters’ deaths. This was followed by a late December strike that killed six al-Shabaab militants in the city of Cadale which is around 150 miles northeast of the capital.