The US military claims to have executed a series of six air strikes in Somalia. The attacks have killed 62 fighters of the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in Somalia. Four air strikes were conducted on Saturday killing 32 militants. The remaining died in two more air strikes that happened on the following day.
This is deadliest air attack in Somalia since November 2017. Back them, the US military had killed 100 militants. The country has witnessed a spike in the number of air strikes since US President Donald Trump came into power in January 2017.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, at least 400 people have been killed in air strikes in the country since the beginning of 2017. This number is far higher than the previous 10 years combined. The latest strikes bring to at least 40 the number carried out in Somalia so far this year, compared with 35 recorded in 2017.
Civilians Unharmed in Somalia Air Strikes
The US military issued a statement confirming that no civilians were killed in the latest air strikes. The attacks were carried out in co-ordination with the Somali government.
“Alongside our Somali and international partners, we are committed to preventing al-Shabab from taking advantage of safe havens from which they can build capacity and attack the people of Somalia,” the US Africa Command said.
Al-Shabab, which has linked to the infamous al-Qaeda group, is yet to comment on the latest strikes.
According to Somalia-based security think tank Hiraal Institute, al-Shabab has had to change their strategies following the increase in air strikes. The group has conducted fewer mass attacks on military bases. However, attacks on government building that refuse to pay taxes to al-Shabab continue to be on the rise.
The US military however considers the country to be a “terrorist safe haven”. They believe that the group continue to be a threat, despite suffering some major blows.