US Africa Command targeted a Shabaab fighting position outside of Mogadishu after the al Qaeda branch attacked US and Somali forces operating in the area.
The New York Times map compares assessments from the US military and FDD’s Long War Journal on Taliban controlled and contested districts in Afghanistan.
The United States has conducted a total of 34 strikes in Yemen in 2018, all of which targeted Al Qaeda barring one strike against the Islamic State in Jan. 2018. However the military is not likely to top last year’s high.
The United States has conducted 21 strikes against Shabaab in Somalia so far this year, meaning it is on track to meet or exceed last year’s record high.
This is the first strike since early June, when the United States targeted both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in separate strikes in Bani Walid.
The strike is the second against Shabaab, which is al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, in Somalia that has been reported by U.S. Africa Command this month.
In addition to Ajristan and Khwaja Umar, the districts of Nawur, Jaghatu, and Deh Yak have fallen to the Taliban. Meanwhile, Resolute Support has intentionally misled the the public about the status of seven of Ghazni’s districts. Resolute Support claimed these districts were under government control; in reality the Taliban physically controlled the terrain while the Afghan government operated the government remotely from Ghazni City.
AFRICOM noted that Shabaab, which is al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa, continues to maintain “training camps” and “safe havens throughout Somalia and the region.”