On April 6, the US Army Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced in an official statement that it had destroyed a vehicle armed with a heavy machine gun and had killed three fighters of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab group in an airstrike on the town of Jilib in the Middle Juba region, 240km south of the city of Mogadishu.
AFRICO claimed that no civilians had been hurt in the airstrike and confirmed that it had been conducted in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia.
“US forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect US citizens and to disable terrorist threats,” AFRICOM added in its official statement.
The US had conducted seven airstrikes against al-Shabaab in Somalia since the beginning of 2018, according to AFRICOM. These airstrikes are usually conducted by unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs).
Despite of the increased number of the US airstrikes, al-Shabaab is still capable of carrying out large hit and run attacks across the country. The terrorist group attacked a joint base of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali Army northwest of Mogadishu on April 2. Pro-al-Shabaab sources claimed that 59 soldiers of AMISOM had been killed in the attack.