The U.S. army performed two airstrikes towards Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Somalia Friday, marking the primary time it has focused the militant group within the African nation.
The airstrikes have been performed in northeastern Somalia; the primary occurring round midnight native time and the second round 11 a.m., in line with a press release from U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).
AFRICOM stated the airstrikes have been performed in coordination with the Somali authorities and killed “several terrorists.” It stated it is nonetheless “badessing the results.”
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“U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with [local forces]; targeting terrorists, their training camps and safe havens throughout Somalia, the region and around the world,” the badertion added.
ISIS has had a foothold in Somalia since 2015, when a small group of militants led by Abdulqadir Mumin, a twin Somali-British citizen, broke away from Al Shabab and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. In May, the group claimed accountability for a suicide badault in northern Somalia that killed 5 and injured 12.
The U.S. army has been concerned in Somalia for fairly a while—conducting at the least 60 strikes there since 2007—although America just isn’t formally at struggle within the nation. In April, President Donald Trump deployed U.S. troops to Somalia for the primary time in 20 years.
A U.S. Navy Seal was killed in Somalia throughout a raid on the phobia group Al Shabab in May. It was the primary U.S. army dying in Somalia for the reason that notorious “Black Hawk Down” incident in 1993, when 18 U.S. troopers have been killed.
The U.S. army angered locals in August after backing a mission involving Somali forces that killed 10 civilians, together with kids.
Friday’s strikes might counsel the U.S. is additional increasing its counterterrorism operations in Somalia, given ISIS had not been focused there previous to Friday. The strikes come after a terrorist badault in October killed a whole bunch within the Somali capital of Mogadishu, one which Al Shabab is believed to be behind, and some days after an badault in New York City for which ISIS claimed accountability.
More than 350 individuals have been killed by a truck bomb in Mogadishu in October. Getty Images
On Friday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted, “ISIS just claimed the Degenerate Animal who killed, and so badly wounded, the wonderful people [in New York City], was ‘their soldier.’ Based on that, the Military has hit ISIS ‘much harder’ over the last two days. They will pay a big price for every attack on us!”
But official numbers from the Pentagon don’t counsel a major enhance in strikes towards ISIS. It’s additionally unclear if Friday’s strikes in Somalia have been linked to Trump’s declare the army is being “much harder” on the terrorist group after the New York City badault. Newsweek reached out to AFRICOM for extra on this however didn’t hear again by the point of publication.
Friday’s strikes additionally come within the wake of an ambush on October four in Niger that led to the deaths of 4 U.S. particular forces troopers. An ISIS-linked group, ISIS within the Greater Sahara, has been blamed for this lethal incident. Meanwhile, the U.S. army has additionally focused ISIS in Libya with drone strikes in current months. In brief, the airstrikes in Somalia stand as one other instance of America’s increasing army presence throughout Africa.