Somalia: Was there a defeat for SNA in the Osweine battle against Al-Shabaab?
In the wake of a fierce clash between the Somali National Army (SNA) and Al-Shabaab militants in Osweine village, there is uncertainty regarding the outcome as both sides claim victory. This comes as Somalia intensifies its efforts to combat Al-Shabaab.
State media confirmed the SNA’s successful defense against an Al-Shabaab attack in Osweine village, where the militants were planning a large-scale assault. The local community had provided intelligence to the security forces, according to the state media report.
The attack occurred as the military was preparing to launch major offensives against Al-Shabaab in central Somalia, as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to liberate strategic towns and eradicate the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group.
However, former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed expressed doubts about the operation in Osweine and called for independent investigations to determine how the Al-Shabaab attack was handled, suggesting that there may have been significant casualties among the soldiers.
Even after 24 hours, the situation in Cawsweyne remains unclear following the deadly Al-Shabaab raid, with no independent reports confirming the militants’ claim of victory. Analysts speculate that the magnitude of the attack suggests it may have been planned prior to the capture of Cawsweyne on Tuesday, raising concerns about Somalia’s preparedness in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been in Dhusamareb for several weeks, overseeing and mobilizing forces. The president has emphasized the readiness of the troops, along with the support of the US Africa Command and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), to confront the militants.
While the outcome of the battle between the national army and Al-Shabaab remains uncertain, the militants have been carrying out retaliatory attacks targeting innocent civilians and security forces throughout Somalia and beyond its borders. The government is planning a second phase of operations against the group.