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US takes out 3 Somali terrorists in precision airstrike

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 391st Fighter Squadron drops a Guided Bomb Unit-28 during a Combat Hammer mission at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (U.S. Air Force/Released)
February 19, 2020

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted airstrikes with the Somalian government on Wednesday, which successfully eliminated three Al-Shabaab terrorists.

The precision airstrike took place in Wadajir, Somalia. No other casualties were reported aside from the three terrorists, AFRICOM said in a statement.

“Al-Shabaab attacks range from unsophisticated to complex operations, and include assassinations, IEDs and vehicle-borne IED attacks, among other brutal tactics,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Gregory Hadfield, U.S. Africa Command deputy director of intelligence.

“Removing even one of these terrorists from the field supports our partners on the ground and prevents that individual terrorist from planning or executing future attacks on Africans and Americans,” Hadfield added.

“Somalia remains key to the security environment of East Africa, and its long-term stability is important to advancing U.S. interests in the region,” the statement said.

The strike is at least the fifth AFRICOM has carried out against Al-Shabaab this month.

Two days earlier, AFRICOM and Somalia conducted another joint airstrike on an Al-Shabaab compound in Jilib, Somalia.

One Al-Shabaab facility was destroyed and no deaths were reported. AFRICOM did not describe the nature of the facility targeted in the strike.

“We’re working with our partners to adversely impact al-Shabaab’s operations and ability to attack our Somali and East African partners,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command, at the time.

“It is important to counter this al-Qaeda-aligned group’s ability and intent to plan and carry out attacks in Somalia and more broadly. This precision strike does just that,” Castellanos added.