The U.S. launched its first airstrike against terrorists in Somalia under the Biden administration Tuesday, Reuters reported Wednesday morning.
It’s unclear whether anyone was injured in the strike aimed at a group of al Shabaab militants in Galkayo, Somalia, the Pentagon said in a statement, according to Reuters. The strike was the first in the area since President Joe Biden took office.
“The Department of Defense can confirm that in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command forces conducted one airstrike against al-Shabaab in the vicinity of Galkayo, Somalia, July 20, 2021,” Department of Defense (DOD) spokesperson Cindi King told the Daily Caller News Foundation Wednesday.
JUST IN: @DeptofDefense confirms 1st airstrike vs #alShabaab in #Somalia since @POTUS @JoeBiden became president@USAfricaCommand “conducted 1 airstrike against al-#Shabaab in the vicinity of #Galkayo” per Pentagon spox Cindi King https://t.co/c1a6MEz0O3
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) July 20, 2021
The group is connected to Al Qaeda and wants to overthrow the current government to institute its own based on a strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law, Reuters reported. No civilian casualties were reported as of Wednesday afternoon, a DOD spokesperson told the DCNF.
“There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces,” King added. “U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander designated partner forces under collective self-defense.”
The U.S. military frequently targeted al Shabaab in Somalia with airstrikes previously, though this was the first strike since Jan. 20, according to Reuters. (RELATED: At Least 1 Dead And Several Injured In US Airstrike On Iraqi Militia Group)
Al Shabaab has targeted Somali military bases and civilian structures including schools, bars and hotels in a campaign of shootings and bombings, Reuters reported.
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