The U.S. military has confirmed on Monday that a drone strike carried out Friday in southern Somalia has killed eight Al-Shabaab militants.
The strike occurred northwest of Kismayo, and was done in coordination with the Somalia government, according to Africom.
“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants in the early evening hours on Friday, Dec. 15, approximately 30 miles northwest of Kismayo, killing eight (8) terrorists and destroying one vehicle.”
“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 says that no civilians were killed in the strike.
President Trump has given the Pentagon new authorities in March that has given Africom the green light to conduct airstrikes against Al-Shabaab.
The U.S. military has roughly 500 troops in Somalia, more than double the number of forces from a year ago.
Last month, U.S. special forces conducted a similar airstrike killing over 100 militants 125 miles northwest of Mogadishu.
Somalia’s defense minister Mohamed Ali Haga said on Friday the country needed increased U.S. drone strikes as African Union Forces begin their troop drawdown later this month.
“If we don’t have the support of the Americans, we cannot stand on our own feet. The Somali security sector is still disorganized. And we need more drone strikes because a drone can strike the snake in the head”.