Homeland Security

U.S. Military Airstrikes Kill 62 Radical Islamic Terrorists in Somalia

Hundreds of newly trained Al-Shabaab fighters perform military exercises south of Mogadishu, Somalia, in 2011. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

On Monday, U.S. Africa Command (Africom) announced that weekend airstrikes had killed 62 radical Islamic terrorists with the terror group al-Shabaab in Somalia over the weekend. No civilians were harmed in the surgical airstrikes, which took place with the coordination of the Somali government.

“To support the Federal Government of Somalia’s continued efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, U.S. forces conducted a total of four (4) precision airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Gandarshe, Somalia, December 15, 2018,” Africom reported Monday. “U.S. forces also conducted two (2) precision airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Gandarshe, Somalia, December 16, 2018.”

The four Saturday airstrikes killed 34 militants, while the two Sunday airstrikes killed 28 radical Islamic terrorists, the U.S. military reported. “At this time we assess these airstrikes did not injure or kill any civilians.”

Africom added that all “airstrikes were conducted in close coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia and targeted a known al-Shabaab encampment. U.S. Africa Command and our Somali partners conducted these airstrikes to prevent terrorists from using remote areas as a safe haven to plot, direct, inspire, and recruit for future attacks.”

Somalia has long been racked with radical Islamic terrorism, and the terror group has a powerful presence there. The country is listed as a “country of terror concern,” and was included in President Trump’s travel ban — wrongly blasted as a “Muslim ban.”

The Islamic State (ISIS) has attempted to recruit al-Shabaab, which is formally linked with the terrorist group al-Qaeda. The internal power struggle has resulted in the deaths of at least one pro-ISIS leader of the Somali terror group.

Somalia’s U.N.-backed government is at war with al-Shabaab, which still controls large parts of the country. The group is suspected of carrying out a massive truck bombing which killed at least 587 people last October. The terror group also has a growing presence in Kenya, TIME reported. More than 500 U.S. troops are stationed in Somalia, but the U.S. has said it ultimately aims to transfer responsibility for security to the Somali government.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.