In Somalia, for the first time since Joe Biden’s arrival in the US presidency, the Americans ordered a drone strike against the Shebabs. The operation, which took place on Tuesday, July 20, targeted Islamist terrorists near Galkayo, in central Somalia.
as reported from Nairobi, Sebastien nemeth
It is probably the urgency that made the Americans use their drones. The results are not yet known, but the strike was triggered when the Danab elite unit, formed by the United States, was transferred by the Shebabs 600 km north of Mogadishu.
This is the first operation of its kind during Biden’s presidency under Donald Trump, the number of airstrikes had reached record levels. These strikes had ended on January 20 as soon as Joe Biden swore in.
The new administration has adopted very strict new rules while defining a new policy in this area. These operations must now get a previous green light from the White House. However, this was not the case on Tuesday. Pentagon spokesman Cindi King explains that “there was no need for validation because our commander in Africa has authority when our allies are under attack.”
But this strike does not necessarily mean a return to the massive use of drones in Somalia. The evaluations are still ongoing. In addition, at the end of his term, Donald Trump had ordered the withdrawal of the US military from Somalia, which has since been relocated to Kenya and Djibouti. Their return to Mogadishu is not impossible.
In April, General Townsend, head of the African Command, said the redistribution out of the country complicates operations and lowers the level of understanding of the Somali context.