A Nov. 19 airstrike in Somalia killed a member of the al-Shabaab terror group with “direct ties to the al-Qaeda terror organization” without harming any civilians, according to US Africa Command.
The strike was carried out near Qunyo Barrow, which is located in the Jilib District of Somalia’s Middle Juba region, and coordinated with Somalia’s federal government, AFRICOM said. Strikes in this vicinity make it harder for al-Shabaab to move around freely and organize, according to the release.
It was the second US airstrike in Somalia targeting an al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab member in seven days, and the second since AFRICOM boss Army Gen. Stephen Townsend met with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Nov. 5.
“Al-Shabaab, and ISIS, are a threat to our African partners, to US interests in East Africa, as well as to the US homeland,” Townsend said in a Nov. 5 release. “They possess the desire and intent to attack the US. Due to the persistent pressure our campaign puts on al-Shabaab and ISIS, we believe they lack the actual capability to attack our homeland, but we must stay vigilant and keep pressing them.”
AFRICOM operations chief Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler said airstrikes like the one carried out this week safeguard both Somalian and US national security.
“Armed overwatch and the progression of Somali forces are preventing individuals and larger groups of al-Shabaab fighters from doing future harm to innocent Somalis and becoming a potential threat to the United States,” he said in the Nov. 19 release.