On 31 January 2009, a new conflict started in Somalia when the al-Qaeda branch in Somalia, al-Shabaab, decided to step up its military operations against the Somali Federal Government once again. This time the conflict was fueled by the unrest in the Middle East and an unannounced alliance with a new Somali radical Islamic group known as Hizbul Islam.
Hizbul Islam was formed in January 2009 after the radical Islamist groups of Hassan Aweys’ ARS-A, Jabhatul Islamiya, Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki’s Mu’askar Ras Kamboni and Muaskar Anole agreed to unify under the leadership of Ali Yassin Mohamed. Hezbul Islam also announced a war against the Somali Federal Government, which was already engaged in the conflict with al-Shabaab.
During the first months of the war the two groups launched several attacks mainly in southern Somalia against the Somali Federal Government backed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). However, al-Shabab and Hezbul Islam did not make any real new progress. However, the AMISOM and the Somali Army were unable to put an end to the al-Shabaab nightmare started in 2006.
Stuck in a fruitless war against the Somali Federal Government, al-Shabaab turned to fight Hizbul Islam in order to strengthen its influence among Somalia’s radicals and to become the sole radical Islamist power in Somalia.
Clashes between al-Shabaab and Hezbul Islam broke out in Kismayo costal city in Lower Juba province in southern Somalia on 1 October 2009. After losing several battles to al-Shabaab, Hizbul Islam officially merged with the group on 20 December 2009.
After establishing itself as the only radical Islamic group in Somalia once again, al-Shabaab launched its biggest attack on the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on 23 August 2010. Al-Shabaab captured most of the northern and western parts of the city. However, the AMISOM and the Somali Army backed by the US recaptured the city and secured several areas around it after months of clashes on 6 August 2011.
The high cost of Mogadishu battle didn’t allow al-Shabaab to launch more major attacks against the Somali Federal Government. However, al-Shabaab continued conducting suicide attacks and hit and run attack all over southern Somalia, even in Mogadishu city.
Some attacks were very violent, like the double-tap suicide attack that hit Mogadishu city on October 14 killing over 231 civilians.
Even now after 8 years of the conflict AMISOM and the Somalian Army are still not able to eliminate al-Shabaab in southern Somalia. The terrorist group still controls wide areas in Lower Juba province near the border with Kenya, and in Mount Juba, Bay, Bakool, Gedo provinces in southern Somalia, and in Galgudud province in central Somalia.
During the war ISIS also emerged in Somalia, however in the northern parts of the country away from al-Shabaab areas. Unlike al-Shabaab, so far ISIS only conducted very limited hit and run attacks, and few suicide attacks in Somalia. ISIS also controls a very small areas in Hul-Ando of the Puntland Region, and in Gadobijran, Afbarwaaqo in Mudug province in central Somalia.
While al-Shabaab has been a target of US airstrikes since its establishment back in 2006, the US started bombing ISIS in Somalia only in 2017. This could mean that ISIS grew significantly in Somalia during 2017 and became a real threat.
The AMISOM is going to withdraw from Somalia by December 2020. The AFP reported on 8 November 2017 that AMISON announced that it will withdraw 1,000 of its troops from the country during 2017.
The space that will be left behind after the AMISON withdraws could be easily filled by al-Shabaab or even ISIS. The situation in Somalia may only get worse in the future.
Manipulated, orchestrated chaos !!
I knew why, because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”
So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”
To highlight – ““This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”
It is all a game to these lot…..
They were a bit optimistic with this game or they are absolute masters in manipulation to carry on with this objective for over 16 years now. Maybe they meant 50 years not 5.
I don care if you give a downtick; but tick, that is the civil way.
Hmmm…. – Saudi Wahhabi-inspired Somali ISIS head-choppers – Saudi Wahhabi-inspired Somali al Qaeda aka al-Shabaab head-choppers – Saudi Wahhabi-inspired Hizbul Islam head-choppers
Clearly, the problem here is Iran, the largest sponsor of terrorism on earth!
AFRICOM (CENTCOM’s useless little brother) Commander: “Let’s cobble together a mostly useless, weak regional army (AMISOM) to protect Somalia’s corrupt, inept dictator from Wahhabi religious zealot terrorists so he can continue running the country into the ground. We can send in US SF trainers and Ukrainian black market small arms. Wheee! That’s such an insanely-clever idea that I almost peed myself! I hearby award myself this well-deserved medal for valor for saving Somali children – all the way from AFRICOM’s headquarters in Stuttgart. I’m a f’king HERO. Take a picture of me with the White Helmets!”