US airstrike on al-Shabaab in Somalia destroys VBIED, Africom says

An airstrike targeting al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab in Somalia destroyed a vehicle bomb on April 11, the U.S. military’s Africa Command said.

“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike destroying an al-Shabaab vehicle-borne improvised explosive device near Jana Cabdalle, Somalia, on the afternoon of April 11,” Africom said in a Friday, April 13 release.

There were no al-Shabaab fighters present, Africom spokesperson Robyn M. Mack told The Defense Post.

“There were no terrorists present. Additionally, we assess no civilians were killed in the strike. We take significant measures to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict during the course of our operations,” Mack said in an emailed statement.

“Together with other international partners, the United States is committed to providing Somalia, AMISOM and SNSF with support in the fight against violent extremist organizations.”

The strike is the latest in an increasing number of U.S. airstrikes against al-Shabaab and Abnaa ul-Calipha, Islamic State’s affiliate in Somalia in recent months. So far in 2018, Africom has issued press releases about nine strikes targeting al-Shabaab, but a media relations official with the command recently told the Long War Journal that the U.S. has conducted three other strikes in the country this year.

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