CENTCOM identified the AQAP operatives who were killed as “key Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leaders.” Their responsibilities included “external operations facilitator,” an operative who paves the way for attacks outside of Yemen, an arms facilitator, and a member of its proselytizing council.
In the first strike of 2018, US forces have again halted an imminent car bomb attack intended for Somalia’s capital.
The pattern of operations in 2017 in what the Obama administration used to call areas outside of active hostilities indicates that the US will continue the reinvigorated air campaign in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya in the coming year.
The attack killed eight Shabaab fighters and destroyed one vehicle, according to the AFRICOM press release.
The US military has launched 32 strikes in Somalia since the beginning of 2017, more than doubling last year’s total of 15.
While announcing the strike, US Central Command provided a rare look into the targeting of AQAP’s network. Until now, the US military had provided few details on its efforts during 2017 to defeat the al Qaeda branch.
US Africa Command again struck the Islamic State’s network in the semi autonomous region of Puntland, killing one fighter.
US forces conducted a strike that killed 100 Shabaab fighters northwest of the capital, adding to a record month for the air campaign in Somalia.