US targets Islamic State in northeastern Somalia

US forces launched an airstrike against the Islamic State in Somalia earlier today, killing one fighter.

AFRICOM did not provide a more detailed location than “northeastern Somalia,” in its press release, which likely refers to Puntland, a semi-autonomous region which borders the strategically-significant Gulf of Aden. The Islamic State is known to have operated a training camp there.

The United States began targeting the Islamic State in Somalia in early Nov. Thus far, all strikes have occurred in Puntland. The Islamic State briefly controlled Qandala, a Puntland port, late last year. The group is currently estimated to have about 70 fighters in the area, down from more than 200 a year ago.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal. Alexandra Gutowski is a military affairs analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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