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.
Yesterday’s assault marks at least the third time the SYL Hotel has been targeted by Shabaab in recent years.
Shabaab claims this is the first time the organization has grabbed territory in Somaliland.
Two statements, which were released by al Qaeda’s general command and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, were addressed to Shabaab yesterday in a coordinated messaging campaign.
Shabaab, just days after launching assaults on US and Italian troops, has now also claimed two IEDs on a US-trained Somali special forces unit.
No casualties were reported in either attack, however.
The camp is at least the second one ran by the Islamic State in Somalia’s northern Puntland region.
Shabaab’s “Then Fight the Leaders of Disbelief” video series features clips of various al Qaeda figures from the past and present. Shabaab argues that Somali hotels are legitimate targets because they serve as “heavily fortified bases” for the government and its allies.