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VIDEO: US airstrikes kill 8 terrorist bombmakers in Somalia linked to Al-Qaeda

U.S. airstrike targets Al-Shabaab bombmakers in Somalia, Dec. 10, 2020. (U.S. Africa Command video/screenshot)
December 11, 2020

On Friday, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) released a video showing one of two Thursday airstrikes that targeted bombmakers for the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab terror group in Jilib, Somalia, killing eight.

In a statement to American Military News, AFRICOM said two U.S. airstrikes in Somalia killed eight Al-Shabaab members known for producing explosives for the terror group, including making vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). In addition to the eight Al-Shabaab members killed, the strikes wounded two more members of the terror group.

Footage of the strike shows ordnance hitting a structure, causing an explosion and then a trail of flames and smoke. Watch it below:

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Kirk Smith, the deputy commander for AFRICOM, said, “Al-Shabaab’s continuous attacks demonstrate its willingness to accept high numbers of civilian casualties while advancing operations aimed at undermining security across Somalia. The removal of terrorists involved in the making of explosives helps disrupt al-Shabaab’s ability to conduct attacks of this nature and reduces the group’s ability to target Somali civilians, security forces,  government officials, as well as U.S. and Western interests in the country.”

AFRICOM said no civilians were wounded or killed in its Thursday airstrikes.

The strike comes days after President Donald Trump ordered most of the approximately 700 U.S. troops in Somalia to leave the country by the early part of 2021.

In its statement, AFRICOM said it “remains committed to working with Somali partners to disrupt al-Shabaab operations and enhance regional security.”

“This strike should demonstrate to any enemy that we stand by our partners and will vigorously defend both ourselves and our partners,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, Joint Task Force – Quartz commander. “We will continue to maintain strong force protection and strike those who seek to harm us or our partners.”

AFRICOM has conducted numerous strikes in Somalia in 2020. AFRICOM has previously targeted high-ranking members of the terror group, as well as its key bomb makers.

U.S. ground forces have also taken part in the efforts to counter Al-Shabaab. One U.S. service member was injured when an Al-Shabaab vehicle being used as a VBIED and mortar fire platform attacked U.S. troops working alongside Somali partner forces.

One former U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 member turned CIA officer, Michael Goodboe, was reportedly killed in a recent improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Somalia.