Details scarce on US operation in Somalia

Six al-Shabaab militants were killed in a U.S. military strike in Somalia on Monday night, according to The Associated Press.

The Pentagon announced that U.S. military forces had conducted an operation in Somalia against the al Qaeda affiliate but offered no other details.

"We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," said a statement by Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.

A Somali intelligence official told the AP a drone strike targeted al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane after he left a meeting about 100 miles south of the capital, Mogadishu.

A member of al-Shabaab said its leader was traveling in one of two vehicles hit by the strike but would not say if the leader was among those who were killed.

The government in Somalia had launched its own operation against al-Shabaab days ahead of the U.S. strike on Monday night, according to Agence France-Presse

The strike also came after al-Shabaab members were suspected of attacking a prison in Mogadishu, attempting to free some prisoners. The government regained control of the prison on Sunday, according to  the AP. 

Regular U.S. troops have not been on the ground in Somalia since 1993, but the United States has launched a series of drone strikes against the network in recent years, including in January and October of last year. 

The Washington Post reported about two dozen U.S. military personnel were sent to the country in October to advise African troops fighting al-Shabaab. 

— Kristina Wong contributed to this report, which was updated at 9:17 a.m.