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US says Somalia airstrike killed more than 100 extremists

US says Somalia airstrike killed more than 100 extremists
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U.S. forces on Tuesday conducted an airstrike in Somalia against an al-Shabaab camp, killing more than 100 militants, U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said in a statement.

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, the strike happened at 10:30 a.m. local time about 125 miles northwest of Mogadishu, the country’s capital.

“Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to al Qaeda and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world,” Africom said in a statement that has been used in the past as the United States ramps up airstrikes in the country.

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“Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the U.S. and our partners in the region.”

The U.S. military has roughly 500 troops in Somalia, double the number of forces from a year ago. The United States also has two new military headquarters in Mogadishu.

New authorities granted to the commanders by President Trump in March has given Africom more authority to conduct airstrikes and raids against the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab. Before, they were only allowed to carry out strikes in defense of partnered forces.

The United States for the first time earlier this month used the new authorizations to conduct airstrikes in Somalia against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

“U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats,” Africom stated.

The U.S. military this week also conducted two airstrikes in Libya against ISIS militants, according to a second Africom statement released Tuesday.

Working with the Libyan Government of National Accord, U.S. forces on Nov. 17 and Nov. 19 struck ISIS fighters near Fuqaha, Libya.