Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

US airstrike wiped out al-Shabab camp, intel officials say

US Air Force F-15 fighter jet US Air Force F-15 fighter jet. A US airstrike in Somalia on October 16,2018 killed 60 al-shabaab fighters. FILE
Kenny Thornton | 19 October, 2018, 02:17

The United States has conducted its largest air strike in almost two years against militants in Somalia, killing about 60 Al-Shabaab fighters.

In November 2017, more than 100 militants from Islamist Al-Shabaab group were killed in a USA airstrike, Reuters reported.

The U.S. Africa Command spokesman said the airstrike had no link to the anniversary.

AFRICOM said that the airstrike did not injure or kill any civilians.

There has been no independent confirmation to the attack.

This was the deadliest air strike since November 2017 when 100 militants were killed, the statement added.

No civilian casualties have been reported in the latest airstrike which officials say hit only the intended target in a rural area.

At least two Somali soldiers were killed and two others injured in a fierce fighting with al-Shabab militants in Hiraan region of central Somalia on Tuesday.

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They are also authorized to conduct offensive airstrikes in the southern part of the country targeting al Shabab safe havens.

More than 500 American personnel are partnered with Somali forces and AMISOM, which aims to counter the threat from Al-Shabaab jihadists.

In 2017, the military carried out 35 airstrikes in Somalia - 31 against al-Shabab fighters and four against Islamic State militants, according to Roggio.

Two US defense officials told CNN the strike was carried out by an unmanned drone.

While some observers have questioned the effectiveness of airstrikes by the USA and Kenya and raised concerns about civilians being killed, the us military maintains that they "reduce al-Shabab's ability to plot future attacks, disrupt its leadership networks and degrade its freedom of maneuver within the region".

The strike took place Friday in the Harardhere area along the central coast of the Horn of Africa country, where USA forces train Somali troops and also partner with the United Nations-backed African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The US says it continues to support that transfer even as some US military officials have joined AU officials and others in expressing concern that Somalia's forces are not yet ready.

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