Somalia: Al-Shabaab reports US airstrikes in strongholds


MOGADISHU, Somalia - The al-Shabaab militants have reported a series of airstrikes in their perceived strongholds within central Somalia, in what if confirmed, would be the sixth drone strike in the federal republic of Somalia, engineered by the United States.

Through their Telegram account, the group, which has been on the receiving end, claimed overnight airstrikes were heard in the vicinity of Galhareri (Galmudug state) and Kurtunwaarey (Southwest state) of Somalia.

Al-Shabaab’s media wing in a telegram message claimed the strikes resulted in injuries to civilians. However, there is no independent confirmation of the attack as well as the alleged casualties at the time of going on air.

The al-Shabaab militants are facing coordinated operations by the US Army, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), and the Somali National Army (SNA). The operation first focused on central Somalia and in the future, the same operations will be activated in southern regions.

US Africa Command usually takes time before confirming such airstrikes given the bureaucratic verification steps. The team usually conducts the airstrikes upon the request of the federal government of Somalia and the teams participating in the operations.

Last week, the Al-Shabaab claimed a US drone strike killed Surgeon Landy Rodríguez and general medicine specialist Assel Herrera who had been under Al-Shabaab captivity. The group said they were killed in a drone strike, presumably by Americans.

However, to date, the US Africa Command has not confirmed the deaths despite multiple images purportedly from the site where the civilians were killed. The team has, however, promised to investigate the claims and give accurate information to members of the public.


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