U.S. confirms airstrikes in Somalia as senior Al-Shabaab leader killed
The U.S. military has confirmed it conducted two new airstrikes against Al-Shabaab militants in southern Somalia which Mogadishu authorities said killed a senior militant leader.
The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said in a statement that the airstrikes were carried out Thursday near the Banadir region in southern Somalia.
"We will continue to assess the results of the operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operational security," it said in a statement issued on Thursday night.
The statement came after Somalia's President in a separate statement said that a senior Al-Shabaab leader who had been part of a network responsible for planning and carrying out several bombings and assassinations in Mogadishu was killed.
Africom, which has in the past conducted counter-terrorism airstrikes against the terror group in Somalia said Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world.
"Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the U.S. and our allies. We continue to work in coordination with our Somali partners and allies to systematically dismantle al-Shabaab and help achieve stability and security throughout the region," Africom said.
U.S. forces, in cooperation with Somalia government, are conducting operations against Al-Shabaab in Somalia to degrade the Al-Qaida affiliate's ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and in America.
It said the strike was conducted within the parameters of the proposal approved by the President in March, which allows the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct lethal action against insurgents within a geographically-defined area of active hostilities in support of partner forces in Somalia.