MOGADISHU, Somalia – At least four missiles were launched by the US Africa Command on Friday into southern Somalia, it emerged, with preliminary investigations showing Al-Shabaab Andalus radio was the main target, but verified reports indicated that Al-Furqan radio was the only one affected. the outskirts of Kunya-barrow.
A statement issued by the US Africa Command confirmed that two airstrikes had been launched on the eve of the New Year, adding that the main target was an Al-Shabaab compound near Kunya-barrow, a notorious hiding place of Al-Shabaab.
Final assessments were underway, but the initial assessment concluded that the strikes resulted in the destruction of the two target compounds. There was no mention of a radio station in the US Africa Command statement.
The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation. “We are taking important steps to comply with the principles of the law of armed conflict during our operations while continuing to disrupt and exert pressure on the al-Shabaab terrorist network.”
“This action clearly demonstrates our continued commitment to Somalia and our regional partners,” said US Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, director of operations for the US Africa Command. “We retain the means and the will to strike at the al-Shabaab terrorist network when necessary to protect the region and, ultimately, our own nation.”
The US Africa Command and its international partners recognize the importance of stability in Somalia. Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab pose long-term threats to US and regional security interests, read the statement.
“Al-Shabaab remains a threat to the future of Somalia and US interests, and we will continue to disrupt their efforts to terrorize civilians,” said US Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, Joint Task Commander Force-Quartz. “Our strikes help unbalance these terrorists to help our partners solve deeper issues such as governance and development.”
The U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with countries in East Africa to help ensure political, economic and physical stability in the region and to work with international and African partners to achieve security goals. long term in Somalia for the Federal Government of Somalia and its member states.
The airstrikes are the first this year and came just two weeks before the US military’s final exit from Somalia. The Defense Ministry had hinted that the soldiers would be redeployed elsewhere across East Africa where they would still launch airstrikes.