US conducts second strike on al-Shabaab after Trump transfers authority

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U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Somalia Sunday against al-Shabaab, the military’s Africa Command (Africom) confirmed Monday.

The Sunday strike appears to be the second that U.S. forces carried out under expanded authorities given to Africom commanders by President Trump earlier this year.

The latest “kinetic strike operation” was carried out at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Africom spokesman Patrick Barnes said in a statement. The statement did not specify where in Somalia the strike occurred, nor what the specific al-Shabaab target was.

{mosads}“We are currently assessing the results of the operation, and will provide additional information as appropriate,” Barnes said. “U.S. forces remain committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somali National Army and our [African Union Mission in Somalia] partners in defeating al-Shabaab and establishing a safe and secure environment in Somalia.”

In March, Trump granted a request from Africom leader Gen. Thomas Waldhauser to give commanders more authority to conduct airstrikes and raids against al-Shabaab without high-level, interagency reviews.

Africom first used those authorities in June with a strike against a logistics hub 185 miles southwest of Somali capital Mogadishu. U.S officials have said that strike killed eight militants from the al Qaeda-affiliated group.

The Pentagon has a small number of troops in Somalia. Prior to the new authorities, they were allowed to carry out strikes in defense of partnered forces.


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