American military forces killed six militants in what U.S. Africa Command described as a “self-defense strike” in Somalia on Friday.
“The command’s initial assessment is the strike killed six al-Shabaab terrorists and that no civilians were injured or killed,” Africa Command (AFRICOM) said. Friday’s strike took place at the request of the Somali government in support of the Somali National Army in their fight against with the terrorist group, according to the statement.
U.S. military involvement in Somalia took a turn when former President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of most U.S. forces from Somalia in 2020, leaving behind a small contingent to support the country’s government in its fight against al-Shabaab. President Joe Biden, however, reversed U.S. posture in the African nation with a deployment of additional U.S. troops in May. (RELATED: US Helicopter Raid Takes Out ISIS Leaders In Middle East)
U.S. Africa Command announced a similar strike last month that killed al-Shabaab terrorists in a remote part of Syria. The U.S. military also conducted an air strike in September that killed 27 militants, according to Reuters. The United States’ “kinetic actions” against the terrorist group aim to support Somalia’s efforts to disrupt terrorist operations within its borders, AFRICOM said.
The United States describes Al-Shabaab as “the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world” that “has proven both its will and capability to attack Somali, East African, and American civilians.”