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Published On: Wed, Jun 14th, 2017

U.S. Drone Strike Hits Al-Shabaab Base in Somalia, 8 Militants Killed

Araweelo News Network

The file photo shows a US MQ-9 Reaper drone firing a Hellfire missile.


Mogadishu(ANN)-An American drone aircraft supported a Somali special forces attack on a command post of the al-Shabaab terrorist organization on Sunday. According to military estimates, the operation wiped out the command post and killed eight al-Shabaab militants.

“The strike was the first by the United States in Somalia under new authorities granted by President Donald Trump in March and was conducted in coordination with regional partners, the Pentagon said. It was a drone strike, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity,” Reuters reports.

There have been drone strikes in Somalia before, but President Trump’s expanded authorization allowed the military to carry out offensive strikes against al-Shabaab targets without seeking prior presidential approval. Previous strikes were considered defensive in nature, to protect personnel and facilities which came under attack, but the new rules allow U.S. commanders in Somalia to approve offensive strikes at the request of special operations advisers.

The Obama administration’s rules also demanded “near-certainty” that no civilians would be injured, while the Trump administration policy calls for “reasonable certainty.”

“It allows us to prosecute targets in a more rapid fashion. So that’s obviously something that we advocate for and if we were given that opportunity – given out those permissions and authorities – it will be very helpful to us,” General Thomas D. Waldhauser of the U.S. Africa Command explained in March.

Sunday’s target was prosecuted rapidly indeed. “On June 11, at approximately 2 a.m. eastern daylight time, the Department of Defense conducted a strike operation against al-Shabaab in Somalia. The operation occurred approximately 185 miles southwest of Mogadishu. The U.S. conducted this operation in coordination with its regional partners as a direct response to al-Shabaab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces,” said the Pentagon.

Consultation and approval from the Somali government and the African Union are required for these offensive strikes. Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi declared he was pleased with the outcome of the operation.

“Earlier today, I authorized our special forces with the support of our international partners to conduct a strike against an al-Shabaab training camp near Sakow. The mission, which ended successfully, destroyed an important training camp where the group used to organize violent operations. This undermines their ability to mastermind more attacks,” Abdullahi said in a statement.

Al-Shabaab has perpetrated many actions that justify an aggressive military response, but the attack that probably inspired Sunday’s action was a brutal assault on a military base in the semi-autonomous Puntland region on Thursday. The official death toll from this al-Shabaab attack currently stands at 59.

About the Author

- #Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a freelance and investigative journalist, writer and human rights activist with more than 20 years of experience. He writes about a range of topics related to social issues such as human rights, politics and security. Other topics in which Mr. Arraale is interested include democracy and good governance. Mr. Arraale has written extensively on regional and international events, and has worked with Somaliland newspapers and Human rights organizations. In 2008, he established #Araweelo #News #website# Network, which he currently manages. For further information, please contact: Info@araweelonews.com or jaamac132@gmail.com Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 whatsapp.com/ + 252 63 442 5380 /https://twitter.com/Araweelonews/https://www.facebook.com/Araweelonews/

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