AFRICOM’s 60th airstrike in Somalia this year takes out terrorist

U.S. Africa Command, in coordination with the government of Somalia, conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Dujuuma, Somalia, Dec. 16.

The one terrorist was killed, according to a news release from AFRICOM, and no civilians were injured or killed in the attack.

“The removal of al-Shabaab terrorists increases the security of the Somali people as these terrorists indiscriminately attack and extort innocent civilians and destabilize the elected government,” said Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Bradford J. Gering, AFRICOM’s deputy director of operations. “The Somali National Army and their partners have made significant strides in targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in order to deny them the ability to plot attacks against the people of Somalia.”

U.S. Africa Command has conducted 60 airstrikes in 2019 against ISIS-Somalia and al-Shabaab militants, leadership, infrastructure, fighting positions and equipment — eight against ISIS-Somalia and 52 against al-Shabaab, said Col. Christopher Karns, AFRICOM’s director of public affairs.

In 2017, U.S. Africa Command conducted 35 strikes in Somalia, and that number rose to 47 strikes in 2018, Karns noted.

“The airstrikes impact al-Shabaab’s ability to organize, plan and execute attacks,” Karns said. “An armed overwatch capability allows precision strike and precision removal — whether it is one or more terrorists. Each removal makes Somalia and the world a bit safer while reflecting a resolve to weed out malign activity and terrorist intent to do harm.”