Somalia: Al-Shabaab suffers massive losses in Jubaland
KISMAYO, Somalia - Jubaland state continued with operations against Al-Shabaab even in the middle of a planned slow-down by the federal government, targeting the militants in the latest offensive which comes days after the Jana Cabdalle battle which left several militants dead just weeks after the town was taken by the group.
According to reports, the regional forces of Jubaland received backing from the 16th Brigade and the 5th Unit, in an operation that was conducted in the volatile Lower Jubba region. The operation, Somalia said, left five Al-Shabaab militants dead and several injured.
In an interview with the media, the Commander Arab Dheeg Ahmed of the 5th unit of the 16th Battalion reported that joint forces conducted operations in several areas, including Bibi, Malik Dahajo, Beerhani, Quds, and Yaaq Dabayl. The region was a major base of Al-Shabaab.
The operation, Arab Ahmed added, led to the capture of several militants who are now under investigation. He conceded that Al-Shabaab is still predominant in Jubaland but was quick to note that the second and perhaps final phase of rescuing the region from Al-Shabaab will be activated throughout the Holy month of Ramadan.
On Tuesday, Abdikadir Mohamed Nur, the country's minister for Defense, said the first phase led to the death of over 3,000 militants besides leaving 3,700 others severely injured. The operation targeted mainly parts of Hirshabelle and Galmadug and is set to be extended across the country.
These operations have been carried out in collaboration with Somali government forces and local residents, and they have successfully removed Al-Shabaab from areas and districts they have controlled for the past ten years. Besides local militia, the US Africa Command has been working closely with the SNA forces.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud had declared total war on Al-Shabaab and according to members of the international community, he has partly succeeded in reducing miss information. Sheikh Mohamud has received extra security forces from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti.