Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militants suffer series of losses in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants continued to suffer immeasurable losses in the country following a series of operations launched by the Somali National Army [SNA] which is consolidating most territories in central and southern Somalia, occupied by the militants.
The militants have been fighting bro topple the fragile UN-backed Somalia administration under the leadership of outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. They control strategic towns that are vital in the country's social-economic development.
And in separate operations this weekend, the Al-Shabaab lost sections of Lower Juba following the operation by Danab Special Forces, which left 16 militants dead in Berhani and Libikuus villages near Kismayo. The operation was carried out on Sunday.
"16 Al-Shabab members were killed in a security operation conducted by Somali Army’s Commandos DANAB at Berhani and Libikuus villages under Kismayo district of Lower Jubba region, on Sunday," state media reported, without giving many details.
However, for the last three months, the army has been in a charm offensive against the Al-Shabaab militants with SNA boss Gen Odowaa Yusuf Rageh Odowaa at times leading the operations himself. For instance, in Lower Shebelle, it's him who has been guiding the military.
In Middle Shabelle, state media added, the Al-Shabaab militants also lost considerably, with the Somali army managing to kill over 50 militants. The military is keen to consolidate most of the areas ahead of formal take over of security responsibilities from the AMISOM team.
"Somali National Army intensified the fight against terrorists in many parts of Hiran, Middle Shabelle and Lower Shabelle regions. 50 Al-Shabab members have been killed and many bases destroyed in the past 48 hours, SNA commanders reported," state media noted.
The deaths now stand at over 200 given that in the previous two weeks, the Al-Shabaab militants lost over 150 fights in the Middle and Lower Shabelle, during operations that were coordinated by Gen Odowaa Yusuf Rageh. It's the first time the group is suffering huge losses in as many months.
The good news comes amid reports that the United States is sending more soldiers to Kenya where they will be helping in the fight against Al-Shabaab. The US had withdrawn her troops from Somalia on January 15 but Joe Biden is keen to have them in the Al-Shabaab war.