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US takes out Somali terrorist in 9th precision airstrike this month

An MQ-Reaper drone remotely piloted aircraft performs aerial maneuvers over Creech Air Force Base, Nev., June 25, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory D. Payne)
February 24, 2020

U.S. Africa Command conducted another precision airstrike in Somalia on Monday and successfully killed one Al-Shabaab terrorist.

The airstrike took place in Jilib, Somalia, and did not result in any troops or civilians injured, according to an AFRICOM statement.

“Our persistent actions against al-Shabaab ensures constant and continued pressure on this malign network,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, U.S. Africa Command deputy director of operations.

“Our collective efforts help enhance security in the region and put al-Shabaab on notice, making both Somalia and the U.S. safer in the process,” Castellanos added.

The strike is the ninth conducted by AFRICOM against Al-Shabaab in February alone.

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The nine strikes have collectively killed 11 Al-Shabaab terrorists and wounded several others, in addition to damaging or destroying multiple terrorist compounds.

The latest strike comes just one day after a precision airstrike on Sunday killed three Al-Shabaab terrorists and destroyed their compound in Dujuuma, Somalia.

Also on Sunday, another airstrike in Saakow, Somalia killed two terrorists, wounded one, and destroyed a terrorist compound, AFRICOM said in a statement.

“Al-Shabaab kills regularly and indiscriminately,” Brig. Gen. Castellanos said. “This al-Qaida affiliate exploits innocent Somalis, displaces families, and imposes illegal taxes through force and violence. They want to export their vision of destruction more widely. It is our collective international efforts and persistent pressure that prevents this from occurring.”

U.S. forces have been positioned in Africa for years, targeting both ISIS-Somalia terrorists and the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab terrorists.

AFRICOM conducted more than 60 airstrikes in Somalia during 2019, setting a record. They previously conducted 47 airstrikes in 2018 and 35 in 2017.

“Since al-Shabaab’s first external attack in 2010, the group has ruthlessly killed hundreds,” U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command, said in a December 29 statement.

“They have attacked and killed African partners, allies, and fellow Americans. They are a global menace and their sights are set on exporting violence regionally and eventually attacking the U.S. homeland,” Gayler added.