US conducts airstrike against ISIS in northeast Somalia

U.S. forces carried out an airstrike in northeastern Somalia on Monday, killing a suspected Islamic State militant, according to an Africa Command press release.

“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against ISIS, in northeastern Somalia on Nov. 27, killing one terrorist,” the release said.

The strike occurred around 3 p.m. local time.

The airstrike is the latest in an increasing number against ISIS and al-Qaeda’s affiliate al-Shabaab in Somalia. On November 21, Africom said an airstrike killed more than 100 al-Shabaab militants 125 miles northwest of Mogadishu. On November 15, Africom said a drone strike about 60 miles north Mogadishu killed “several” al-Shabaab militants. Four days earlier, Africom said it struck al-Shabaab in the Bay region, about 100 miles west of Mogadishu.

From November 11-12, U.S. forces carried out three drone strikes against al-Shabaab and the Islamic State affiliate Abnaa ul-Calipha near Gaduud, the Lower Shabelle region and the northern Puntland area.

Abnaa ul-Calipha came on the scene in 2015 when elements of al-Shabaab swore loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. U.S. forces first targeted the group earlier this month with two airstrikes in northeastern Somalia.

Also known as Islamic State in Somalia, Abnaa ul-Calipha is led by Abdiqadir Mumin (Abd al-Qādir Mū‘min) who fled the U.K. in 2010 amid an MI5 investigation into his radicalising sermons. Mumin became an al-Shabaab cleric, but in 2015 he pledged baya to Baghdadi.

“U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect U.S. citizens and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) in combined counterterrorism operations and targeting terrorists, their training camps, and their safe havens throughout Somalia and the region,” Africom said.

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