US targets senior al-Shabab leader in Somali airstrike

US targets senior al-Shabab leader in Somali airstrike
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A U.S. airstrike in Somalia on Thursday targeted a senior leader of al-Shabab, the Pentagon announced Friday.

“While we are still assessing the results of this operation, removing [Hassan Ali] Dhoore from the battlefield would be a significant blow to al-Shabaab's operational planning and ability to conduct attacks against the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia, its citizens, U.S. partners in the region and against Americans abroad,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a written statement.

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The airstrike was done in cooperation with the Somali government, according to the statement.

The statement provided no additional details about how the airstrike was carried out.

Dhoore is a senior member of al-Shabab’s Amniyat wing, which does security and intelligence, according to the statement. He’s planned and overseen attacks for the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group that resulted in the deaths of at least three U.S. citizens.

One attack he had a direct role in was the Dec. 25, 2014, attack on Mogadishu International Airport that killed several African Union Mission in Somalia personnel and one U.S. citizen, the statement said.

He was also directly responsible for the March 27, 2015, attack on the Maka al-Mukarram Hotel in Mogadishu that killed 15 people, including one Somali-American national, according to the statement.

“Hassan was believed to have been plotting attacks targeting U.S. citizens in Mogadishu,” the statement added.

Thursday’s airstrike in Somalia was the second in a month. A strike in early March killed more than 150 fighters.