US drone strikes in Somalia spike under Trump administration.

On February 25, the US government confirmed that it had carried out a precision air strike in which an individual associated with the attack on Manda Bay and his wife, also an al-Shabaab member, were killed.

The two terrorists were identified as a “senior al-Shabaab leader, who was in charge of planning and directing terrorist operations on the Kenya border region, including the recent attack on Manda Bay, and his wife, who also was a willing and active member of al-Shabaab responsible for facilitating a wide range of terrorist activities,” the statement read, stating that the air strike occurred in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia, which is located about 320 kilometres west of Mogadishu.

Though shrouded in secrecy, drone strikes have become the signature attack option for Americans in the war against al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, one of the two African countries in which the US still maintains a robust military presence.

According to the New America think tank, the US government has carried out 42 strikes in Somalia in the last six months and a total of 235 strikes so far.

The New America’s Counter-terrorism Wars project tracks US air strikes, drone strikes and other operations in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

The most recent air strikes, five in total, were carried out between March 16 and 17 near Janaale.