The US military conducted an airstrike against Al-Shabab militants on Tuesday, the first since President Joe Biden took office on Jan. 20, the Pentagon said.
The US military command for Africa (AFRICOM), in coordination with the Somali government, “conducted one airstrike in the vicinity of Galkayo, Somalia against Al-Shabab,” Pentagon spokeswoman Cindi King told AFP.
“There were no US forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation,” King said. “US forces were conducting a remote advice-and-assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces.”
Under orders from former president Donald Trump, most of the 700 American troops based in Somalia to advise and assist Somali military and counterterrorism forces were withdrawn in the waning weeks of his administration.
The Somali army announced that 50 Al-Shabab members were killed in separate military operations in Somalia.
At least 15 Al-Shabab militants were killed Tuesday and several others injured in a special operation in lower Jubba region by Somalia’s elite forces, Danab Division. Somali National Army’s Commandos Division, Danab also destroyed terrorist hideouts.
The army is committed to eliminating the militant threat and presence in the country.
In another operation, the Somali National Army on Monday killed 35 militants and injured others at Qaycad area near Ba’adweyn town in Mudug region, according to SNA Infantry Commander Mohamed Tahlil Bihi.
Al-Shabab's campaign of bombings and gun attacks has targeted Somali military bases and civilian infrastructure including hotels, bars and schools in both Somalia and other regional countries.