U.S. forces carried out an airstrike against Somalia’s al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab on Thursday, “killing several militants,” U.S. Africa Command said in a statement.
The operation, conducted coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, was carried out around 3pm in the Bay region, about 100 miles west of Mogadishu.
“Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the U.S. and our partners in the region,” the statement said.
“U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF); targeting terrorists, their training camps and safe havens throughout Somalia, the region and around the world.”
The airstrike is the 18th carried out by U.S. forces in Somalia in 2017. On November 3, U.S. forces conducted two strikes – the first ever – against Abnaa ul-Calipha, known as Islamic State in Somalia, but according to FDD’s Long War Journal, the U.S. has previously struck al-Shabaab 15 times in 2017, 13 times since June, after the Trump administration loosened restrictions on the use of force against the jihadi group in March.
Update November 10 The Associated Press reported that the U.S. military said it has carried out 22 airstrikes this year in Somalia.