USAFRICOM Confirms Strike in Support of Somali Military that Killed al-Shabaab Militants

At approximately 0400 EST, United States Africa Command confirmed that U.S. aircraft had conducted a strike that killed at least five al-Shabaab fighters who were engaging Somali National Army troops about 15km from Galcad. The announcement reads below:

“At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense airstrike in a remote area near Hareeri Kalle, approximately 15 kilometers south of Galcad, Somalia against al-Shabaab terrorists.

The airstrike was in support of Somali National Army forces who were engaged by the terrorist organization.

Working with the Somali National Army, U.S. Africa Command’s initial assessment is that the U.S. airstrike killed 5 al-Shabaab terrorists and that no civilians were injured or killed.

U.S. Africa Command takes great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command’s operations to promote a more secure and stable Africa.

Al-Shabaab is the largest and most kinetically active al-Qaeda network in the world and has proved both its will and capability to attack partner and U.S. forces and threaten U.S. security interests.

Somalia remains key to the security environment in East Africa. U.S. Africa Command’s forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to give them the tools that they need to degrade al-Shabaab.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to assess the results of this operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security.”

In November 2022, SNA forces had seized this town from al-Shabaab and have been holding it despite increased militant pressure. In January 2023, the newly established base there was attacked and seven SNA troops were killed, but government forces retained control. This strike seems to support the SNA as they continue to attempt to retain territory seized from al-Shabaab.