US airstrike destroys terrorist compound in Somalia

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US airstrike destroys terrorist compound in Somalia

American Military News, February 23, 2020:

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

At least three members of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab terror group have been injured and their compound has been destroyed in a U.S. airstrike in Somalia on Sunday.

The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) confirmed that U.S. forces, working in conjunction with the Federal Government of Somalia, targeted an Al-Shabaab compound near the city of Dujuuma, Somalia, according to an AFRICOM statement provided to American Military News.

The AFRICOM statement assessed no civilian casualties as a result of the strike

“U.S. support to African-led counter-terrorism operations is crucial in East Africa,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Gregory Hadfield, the AFRICOM deputy director of intelligence.  “China and Russia appear content to remain on the sidelines as our African partners, with U.S. support, fight extremism and pave the way to enhanced security and stability on the continent.”

AFRICOM has warned that Al-Shabaab has shown interest in expanding its terror attacks beyond East Africa and on to Americans and U.S. interests around the world.

“Our command assesses the al-Qaida-aligned group lacks the capability to strike the U.S. homeland due to the persistent pressure placed on the group led by our African partners,” the AFRICOM statement said.

Al-Shabaab has carried out attacks in recent months, including an attack in early January against a U.S. air strip in Kenya, which resulted in the killing of one U.S. service member and two U.S. Department of Defense contractors stationed there.

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) has partnered U.S. forces with East African governments working to combat Al-Shabaab. AFRICOM has carried out other airstrikes on the terror group in recent days.

“Due to our capabilities, influence, and credibility, U.S. Africa Command and our U.S. interagency partners are uniquely postured to support Somali efforts, including to help coordinate other international partner engagement,” AFRICOM continued.

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