Tags: AF | Somalia | US Airstrike
US Airstrike Kills 18 Al-Shabab After US Attacked in Somalia

US Airstrike Kills 18 Al-Shabab After US Attacked in Somalia

Saturday, 22 September 2018 11:04 AM

A U.S. military airstrike has killed 18 al-Shabab extremists after U.S. and local forces came under attack in southern Somalia, the U.S. Africa Command said Saturday.

The airstrike was carried out in self-defense on Friday about 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest of the port city of Kismayo, the U.S. statement said.

Two other al-Shabab extremists were killed by Somali forces "with small arms fire during the engagement," it said.

No U.S. or partner forces were killed or injured, an AFRICOM spokesman, Nate Herring, told The Associated Press. The airstrike was carried out after extremists were "observed maneuvering on a combined patrol" of U.S. and Somali forces, while the U.S. also responded with "indirect fire," Herring said.

The U.S. has carried out more than 20 airstrikes this year against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in sub-Saharan Africa.

U.S. military involvement in Somalia has grown since President Donald Trump early in his term approved expanded operations against al-Shabab. Dozens of drone strikes followed. Late last year the military also carried out its first airstrike against a small presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State in northern Somalia.

Since the expanded operations, two U.S. military personnel have been killed in Somalia.

A service member was killed in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Mogadishu. And in June, one U.S. special operations soldier was killed and four U.S. service members wounded in an "enemy attack" as troops with Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire in Jubaland.

The U.S. currently has about 500 military personnel in the Horn of Africa nation.

Al-Shabab, which seeks to establish an Islamic state in Somalia, was pushed out of Mogadishu in recent years but continues to control rural areas in the south and central regions. Its fighters continue to attack the bases of a multinational African Union force that remains largely responsible for security as Somalia's fragile central government tries to recover from decades of chaos.

In the next few years Somali forces are expected to take over responsibility for the country's security as the AU force withdraws. Concerns about their readiness remain high, and the U.N. Security Council recently voted to delay the handover's target date to December 2021.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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A U.S. military airstrike has killed 18 al-Shabab extremists after U.S. and local forces came under attack in southern Somalia, the U.S. Africa Command said Saturday.The airstrike was carried out in self-defense on Friday about 50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest of the port...
AF, Somalia, US Airstrike
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2018-04-22
Saturday, 22 September 2018 11:04 AM
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