US helicopters strike Shabaab camps in Somalia: report

A Shabaab commander, as well as residents, claimed that helicopters attacked Shabaab military camps in Qandal, near the southern city of Kismayo. Two Shabaab fighters were said to have been killed. “Foreign fighters” are reported to have been present at the Qandal camps. From Shabelle:

More details emerged hours after unknown helicopters launched raid on military base Al Shabaab has in Kismayo town in southern Somalia.

Local residents told Shabelle Media Network that the helicopters targeted Al Shabaab military base in Qandal area just outside of Kismayo.

Residents also noted that foreign fighters are believed to be there when the raid took place on Thursday. Heavy sounds of explosion with the sound of helicopters could be heard during the aerial attack.

At least two Al Shabaab fighters were confirmed dead after sustaining critical injures from the explosions of the raid.

The chairman of Al Shabaab at Kismayo, Sheikh Hassan Yaqub Ali told Al Shabaab run radio that unknown helicopters raid them, but aid rebelled. He said two of their fighters injured in attack.

This is the second time since the beginning of April that a report such as this has emerged. On April 6, a Shabaab commander was reported to have been killed in an airstrike in the border town of Dhobley in southern Somalia. The US has carried out several airstrikes, cruise missile strikes, artillery strikes from the sea, and even a special operations raid that killed a top al Qaeda leader. For more information, see Threat Matrix report, Is the US launching airstrikes against Shabaab in Somalia? .

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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