A large concentration of Shabaab fighters a significant distance from its typical support zone in Jubba River Valley demonstrates the Al Qaeda affiliate’s resilience across Somalia.
This is the third time in the past month that US forces have conducted defensive airstrikes following Shabaab attacks.
The United States has conducted 24 strikes in Somalia in 2018, all of which have targeted Shabaab. The strike occurred near a town that was liberated by Somali forces just two days ago.
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 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.
Two regional combatant commands acknowledged reports of civilian casualties in recent operations.
In the past six months, US forces have thrice interdicted Shabaab car bombs and prevented imminent attacks against civilians in the Somalia capital, Mogadishu.