The United States carries out its first airstrike in Somalia since August

WASHINGTON — The United States carried out a drone strike against Al Shabab militants in Somalia this week, the first such military acti...


WASHINGTON — The United States carried out a drone strike against Al Shabab militants in Somalia this week, the first such military action against the East African affiliate of Al Qaeda since Augustthe Africa Command announced on Thursday.

Tuesday’s MQ-9 Reaper attack followed a Shabab attack on allied Somali forces in Duduble, about 64 km northwest of the capital Mogadishu, the command said in a statement.

The command said it was still trying to determine how many Shabab insurgents were killed in the attack, but said no civilians were injured.

When the Biden administration took office in January 2021, it imposed new limits on drone strikes outside of active war zones while they operated. develop a permanent policy. While the Trump administration has established general rules for strikes in particular countries and delegated authority to field commanders to execute them, strike proposals are now usually channeled through the White House.

But in this case, as in four previous attacks since President Biden took office, White House approval was not needed because Africa Command has the authority to carry out strikes in support of the allied forces in what the military calls collective self-defense.

No US forces accompanied Somali forces on the operation, an Africa Command spokesman said. Instead, US forces were advising and assisting the Somali forces mission from a remote location, but the official did not say where that was.

Under orders from President Donald J. Trump, most of the 700 US troops based in Somalia to advise and assist Somali military and counterterrorism forces were withdrawn in the final weeks of his administration and sent to neighboring Kenya and Djibouti.

Mr. Biden and his advisers are set to make a decision on a Pentagon-backed proposal to reinstate some of those troops in Somalia to improve training and coordination with Somali security forces. At present, American trainers periodically visit the country.

US commanders have stated that the lack of a permanent training presence associated with political instability in Somalia allowed the Shabab to surge.

“I think in East Africa, I think particularly in Somalia, Al Shabab is taking advantage of the political leaders there being distracted by a protracted political crisis,” General Stephen J. Townsend, head of the Africa Command. “While this is happening, the pressure is on Al Shabab.”

During a visit to Somalia, Djibouti and Kenya Last weekhe added: “Al Shabab remains al-Qaeda’s largest, richest and deadliest affiliate.

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Newsrust - US Top News: The United States carries out its first airstrike in Somalia since August
The United States carries out its first airstrike in Somalia since August
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