The US military killed five al-Shabaab militants in a “collective self-defense airstrike” in Somalia, US Africa Command announced Thursday.
The strike was taken at the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, the US Africa Command statement says, in “a remote area near Hareeri Kalle, approximately 15 kilometers south of Galcad, Somalia.” The initial assessment of the airstrike is that five militants were killed, and no civilians were injured or killed.
“The airstrike was in support of Somali National Army forces who were engaged by the terrorist organization,” the release says.
Thursday’s airstrike comes a little more than a week after the US killed 10 militants in a strike in an area near Afmadow.
The US regularly engages al-Shabaab forces in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia. In May 2022, President Joe Biden approved a Pentagon request to deploy fewer than 500 US troops to Somalia in an effort to combat the terror organization, following a withdrawal of nearly all American troops in the country under former President Donald Trump.
“We have seen, regrettably, clear evidence that al-Shabaab has the intent and capability to target Americans,” a senior administration official said at the time of Biden’s approval. There have been several airstrikes against al-Shabaab since the beginning of the year.
“Al-Shabaab is the largest and most kinetically active al-Qaeda network in the world and has proved both its will and capability to attack partner and U.S. forces and threaten U.S. security interests,” Thursday’s AFRICOM release says.