US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced three more strikes on Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia and East Africa, over the past two days. All three took place in Shabaab-held territory.
US Africa Command launched two “kinetic strikes” against Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia and East Africa, today. The US military has targeted Shabaab three times over the past two weeks.
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) confirmed that its July 30 “kinetic strike” killed Ali Jabal, a Shabaab commander who led forces and conducted attacks in Mogadishu and the Banadir regions in southern Somalia. The targeting of Shabaab leaders has not prevented the group from regaining ground in the south.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) says that 12 Ugandan soldiers were killed in an ambush by Shabaab yesterday. The al Qaeda branch claims the casualties were much higher and a local official told the press that 24 bodies were carried away from the scene.
One Shabaab fighter from the “Mogadishu Attack Network” was killed. The strike is the second of its kind reported by AFRICOM over the past month.
Additionally, the US State Department noted that Somali security forces “remained incapable of securing and retaking towns from al-Shabaab independently,” and while not explicitly stated, hinted that the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is failing.
AFRICOM continues to describe offensive operations against al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia as “self defense strikes.” The July 4 strike in southern Somalia targeted a Shabaab “troop concentration.”
The raid shows that while Shabaab is largely focused in central and southern Somalia, it continues to be a threat in the north as well.