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US Airstrike in Somalia Kills 12 Al-Shabaab Fighters, Supporting Somali Federal Government in Countering Terrorism

The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) has announced that an airstrike in Somalia killed 12 al-Shabaab fighters on Friday in support of the Somali federal government and army.[0] This comes as the US increases its efforts to counter the al-Shabaab terrorist group in the region, following President Joe Biden’s approval last year of a Pentagon request to deploy fewer than 500 US troops to the region.

AFRICOM has stated that “rooting out extremism requires intervention beyond traditional military means.”[1] This sentiment has been reflected in recent US airstrikes in the region, which have resulted in dozens of al-Shabaab casualties. Last month alone saw a US strike that killed approximately 30 al-Shabaab fighters, and additional strikes in October, November, and December of 2020 that killed two, seventeen, and six militants respectively.[1]

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has declared an all-out war against al-Shabab, a terrorist group affiliated with the al-Qaida network, since his swearing-in to office in May 2022.[2] The US continues to provide support to the Somali government in its fight against extremism.[1]

0. “US airstrike leaves 12 Al-Shabaab militants dead in Somalia” Garowe Online, 12 Feb. 2023, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/us-airstrike-leaves-12-al-shabaab-militants-dead-in-somalia

1. “US says it killed 12 al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia airstrike” Local 3 News, 12 Feb. 2023, https://www.local3news.com/regional-national/us-says-it-killed-12-al-shabaab-fighters-in-somalia-airstrike/article_530121a2-715a-5ed1-bb9d-5e7c79681d05.html

2. “12 al-Shabab militants killed in Somalia air strike” Investing.com India, 12 Feb. 2023, https://in.investing.com/news/12-alshabab-militants-killed-in-somalia-air-strike-3520259