U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) started off the month with two airstrikes on Al-Shabaab terrorists on Monday, killing one terrorist and wounding two others.
The two airstrikes took place near Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. No civilians were killed or injured in the attack.
“US Africa Command is focused on support to the Federal Government of Somalia and helping them end al-Shabaab‘s brutal ambitions and treatment of the Somali people,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Bill Gayler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command, in a statement to American Military News.
“Striking al-Shabaab leadership, fighters, facilities and areas of operations is one of the ways we continue to pressure their network,” Gayler added.
“Al-Shabaab leadership has expressed its primary desire is to conduct attacks not just in East Africa, but against Americans and U.S. interests across the globe. International efforts and the persistent pressure placed on al-Shabab helps contain the group’s broader ambitions and desire to conduct attacks beyond Somali borders,” the statement said.
The strikes are the 15th airstrike operation conducted against al-Shabaab in Somalia so far this year. Nine of the strikes took place in February.
The fifteen strikes have collectively killed at least 13 Al-Shabaab terrorists and wounded several others, in addition to damaging or destroying multiple terrorist compounds.
“Al-Shabaab kills regularly and indiscriminately,” Brig. Gen. Castellanos said last month. “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.