United States conducts strike against Al-Shabaab group in Somalia

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo confirmed that Somali special forces were also involved in the attack, some 298 kilometers (185 miles) southwest of Mogadishu, the capital of the Horn of Africa country.

Unspecified American military aircraft struck a terrorist nerve center in Somalia on Sunday, an operation believed to have killed eight al-Qaida loyalists who've staged repeated attacks on USA allies in the region.

The United States conducted this operation in coordination with its regional partners as a direct response to al-Shabab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces, the Pentagon spokesperson said.

"Earlier today, I authorized our special forces with the support of our global partners to conduct a strike against an al-Shabab training camp near Sakow", his statement said.

Africom assessed that eight al-Shabaab militants were killed in the strike.

USA and Somali forces carried out a joint attack against an al-Shabab command post on Sunday, destroying one of the jihadi group's primary training and command centers. It was a drone strike, a US official said on condition of anonymity.

Al-Shabab has reportedly sealed off the area and are questioning people in an attempt to identify who may have collaborated with the operation. Brig. Gen. Miguel A. Castellanos was hand selected by U.S. Africa Command chief Gen. Thomas Waldhauser "to help synchronize efforts between worldwide military partners, pull various agencies together and develop momentum to change the dynamic of Somalia", according to a news release announcing the shift.

"All of us know somebody from our youth, our village, our families, who has been killed or injured by the senseless violence of al-Shabaab".

Last month, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signaled Washington's willingness to consider deploying additional US troops to Somalia should the troubled African nation seek greater military aid to combat al-Shabaab.

In its statement, Africom noted that al-Shabaab has used safe havens in southern and central Somalia to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, and shelter other terrorists.

  • Leroy Wright