U.S. airstrikes targeted Islamic extremists in Somalia on Sunday as the U.S. ramped up efforts to support the East African government in the face of brutal attacks from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab terrorist group.
The U.S. African Command said “current assessments” indicated eight militants died in the airstrikes, which appeared to be the first since President Trump gave the Pentagon the go-ahead in March to conduct actions against the ruthless group in support of partner forces in Somalia.
The strike targeted a camp about 185 miles southwest of Mogadishu. The Pentagon said the attack was coordinated with “regional partners as a direct response to al-Shabab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces.”
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said Sunday’s attack destroyed an al-Shabab training base near Sakow, a provincial capital.
“This was a successful strike which destroyed a key al-Shabab command and supply hub,” he said. “This will ultimately disrupt the enemy’s ability to conduct new attacks within Somalia.”
He noted that Somalis have long suffered at the hands of the militants, which he said are supported by global terror networks. He also promoted his amnesty offer, saying those who surrender can be part of his nation’s “peaceful and prosperous” future.
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SOURCE: USA Today, John Bacon