On May 24, the US Army Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced in an official statement that US warplanes had killed ten fighters of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab around 24km southwest of the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
The AFRICOM said that no civilians had been hurt in the airstrike, according to its initial assessment, and confirmed that the airstrike had been conducted in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia.
“US forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect U.S. citizens and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM [the African Union Mission in Somalia] and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) in combined counterterrorism operations and targeting terrorists, their training camps, and their safe havens throughout Somalia and the region.” AFRICOM added in its official statement.
The US had conducted nine airstrikes against al-Shabaab in Somalia since the beginning of 2018, according to AFRICOM. On April 11, US warplane destroyed a VBIED of al-Shabaab near the Jana Cabdalle area.
According to observers, these airstrikes are aimed at deterring al-Shabaab and limiting the terrorist group’s capability of launching attacks on areas held by the Somali Federal Government, especially the city of Mogadishu.