Since the New Year, US Africa Command has hit Shabaab 14 times. AFRICOM acknowledges that the air campaign is not sufficient to defeat Shabaab, but can only support the Somali government’s efforts.
Shabaab has now assassinated four high-ranking Somali military personnel in the same general vicinity.
The pace of strikes against Shabaab’s network in Somalia has intensified despite reports that the US military is seeking to disengage from the war-torn country.
The video provides the first known instance of a Western foreign fighter within the Islamic State Somalia’s ranks.
A US airstrike reportedly targeted Shabaab militants as they went on the offensive following the deadly terrorist attack in Nairobi.
US counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia shows no signs of slowing down despite a report last week that said the Pentagon plans to reduce its role there. The US has launched four strikes against Shabaab during the first week of 2019.
The Islamic State’s loyalists claimed more operations in Somalia in 2018 than in 2016 and 2017 combined. The group has also expanded its operations to include tactics normally associated with its larger rival, Shabaab.
The Islamic State released its first video footage of a clash with Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia and East Africa.