The Islamic State released its first video footage of a clash with Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia and East Africa.
The strikes were launched to “prevent terrorists from using remote areas as a safe haven to plot, direct, inspire, and recruit for future attacks,” AFRICOM noted.
The Islamic State claims to have killed 14 members of Shabaab, al Qaeda’s arm in Somalia.
The last three strikes against Shabaab have taken place in an area where foreign al Qaeda fighters have historically sheltered. AFRICOM has targeted Shabaab 40 times throughout Somalia in 2018.
Shabaab killed two Somali generals who were leading a military offensive against the group in the Lower Shabelle region, south of Mogadishu.
The US military hit al Qaeda’s branches in Somalia and Libya twice over the past several days, killing 20 fighters in strikes that appear to have targeted the groups’ military capacity.
The US military has launched six airstrikes in the central Somali province of Mudug since Nov. 19, killing at least 55 Shabaab fighters.
The US military is clearly targeting Shabaab in Mudug province. There have been five strikes there in the past four days and 50 Shabaab fighters are reported to have been killed in the attacks.