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.
A strike that far north, particularly with such a high casualty count, demonstrates the alarming geographic span of Shabaab’s insurgency in the country. In 2018, the US has hit Shabaab targets nearly 1,000 miles apart.
The strike killed 12 Shabaab terrorists.
On Wednesday, US forces conducted an airstrike 15 miles southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu against al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa.
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.
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.