The Al Qaeda branch claims its men enacted “heavy losses” to AMISOM and Kenyan troops in southern Somalia. African Union troops and the Somali government have stated otherwise, however.
AFRICOM has stepped up its air campaign against Shabaab since the beginning of the year, targeting the group 33 times.
U.S. Africa Command said it killed the Shabaab commander was “in charge of planning and directing terrorist operations” along the Kenyan border, including the raid on the Manda Bay Airfield. Three Americans were killed in that attack.
Al-Qaeda’s senior leadership released a statement praising the jihadists in Mali and elsewhere in Western Africa for confronting the “Crusaders.” Al-Qaeda’s management team encourages them to dismantle the “French and American project” across the region.
Ali Mohamud Rage, a senior Shabaab official, has released a video concerning the group’s assault on the Manda Bay Airfield earlier this week. Three Americans were killed during the attack, which Rage says was “carried out under the guidance and direction” of Ayman al-Zawahiri.
One U.S. service member and two Defense Department contractors were killed during a raid by Shabaab on the Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya earlier today. U.S. AFRICOM accused the al-Qaeda arm of exaggerating the effects of its operation, which is true. But the jihadists still managed to infiltrate an airfield used by the U.S. and its allies to combat the group.
Shabaab, al-Qaeda’s regional branch in East Africa, assaulted the Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya earlier today. The extent of the damage is unclear, but at least some aircraft and equipment was set ablaze.
Yesterday’s assault marks at least the third time the SYL Hotel has been targeted by Shabaab in recent years.