Somalia's soldiers take control of new areas from Al-Shabaab

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Somali soldiers on patrol at a military base, south of Mogadishu, Somalia, on June 13, 2018. An American special operations soldier had been killed by a mortar attack there earlier that month, on June 8. Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP via Getty Images

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Somali National Army [SNA] regained control of several villages within Gal'ad district in Galmadug, with the presence of Ma'awisley clan militia boosting the military's quest to restore civilian rule in several towns across the country as the government prepares to officially launch the second phase of operations against the group.

Some of the villages which were successfully retained by the military after minimal use of force include Tih, Barag Sheikh Aamir, Alihele, and Ali Ahmed where the militants had been in charge. Gal'ad town has been the epicenter of operations against Al-Shabaab in the last seven months.

But before losing turn villages, Al-Shabaab militants are said to have destroyed masts in an attempt to paralyze the military's operations in the region. The military, officials said, have since surrounded the villages and would soon install civilian administration as a routine practice.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud unveiled the second phase of operations against Al-Shabaab at Adan Yabal village which had been liberated from the militants and the phase is expected to target areas where the military is yet to gain control. Al-Shabaab terrorists have lost control of several strategic towns.

A few weeks ago, the federal government of Somalia announced that over 3000 militants had been killed in the first phase with an additional 3,700 suffering serious injuries. The Somali National Army has been working closely with the US Africa Command, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], and the local militia.

Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti pledged to dispatch more soldiers to the country and already, those from Addis Ababa have started joining the ATMIS forces. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud over the weekend challenged locals to join the crackdown by directly helping the national army to regain control of most parts of the country.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud had declared total war against Al-Shabaab when he assumed power and since then, he has activated several frontlines across Somalia. The president has also asked the international community to invest in the war, arguing that by December 2024, most parts of the country would be seized.

GAROWE ONLINE

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