The Taliban continue to maintain its grip on half of Afghanistan despite US military’s reinvigorated effort to force the group from its strongholds.
In the past six months, US forces have thrice interdicted Shabaab car bombs and prevented imminent attacks against civilians in the Somalia capital, Mogadishu.
The Afghanistan watchdog was finally able to release the military’s own district-level assessment, allowing for a direct comparison with our data. The Taliban currently controls 37 districts, contests 200, and claims to control two more.
The United States attacked al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia in the southern town of Jilib, a recurring strike location and known Shabaab safe haven.
The location of last weekend’s strike highlights the geographical range of US operations against Shabaab, and the scope of the al Qaeda branch’s insurgency.
The US military announced that it killed Musa Abu Dawud, a high-ranking al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb leader in Libya, in an airstrike last weekend. Dawud is an established jihadist who has been in the fight with the GSPC and AIQM for at least three decades.
US forces conducted nine strikes in Somalia this year, all of which have targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in the country.
The US military has launched 22 airstrikes against al Qaeda int he Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State’s Yemeni branch, a spokesman told FDD’s Long War Journal.