US airstrike kills 60 al-Shabaab militants

US airstrike kills 60 al-Shabaab militants
© Getty Images

The U.S. military on Tuesday announced that it had killed 60 al-Shabaab militants in an airstrike in Somalia, the largest such strike on the terrorist group in nearly a year.

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said the strike was carried out Friday near the city of Harardere — in the central part of the country — in coordination with the Somali government, according to an AFRICOM statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This precision airstrike was the largest airstrike against al-Shabaab since November 21, 2017, when U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against an al-Shabaab camp killing approximately 100 terrorists,” the command notes.

AFRICOM said that no civilians were injured or killed in the strike.

The U.S. this year has carried out more than 25 airstrikes, including drone strikes, against al-Shabaab, which is linked to al Qaeda.

The most recent strike was on Sunday, “a collective self-defense airstrike” targeting militants near Araara, “after partner forces came under small arms fire.” Four militants were killed in that strike, according to the command.

“Alongside our Somali and international partners, we are committed to preventing al-Shabaab from taking advantage of safe havens from which they can build capacity and attack the people of Somalia,” AFRICOM said.

Last year the terrorist group bombed a truck in Mogadishu, an attack that killed more than 500 people and was the world's deadliest terror attack since 9/11. The group has since been pushed from the city but still controls parts of southern and central Somalia.

Under President Trump, the Pentagon has increased airstrikes and ground troops in the country since 2017. There are currently around 500 U.S. troops in Somalia.

“The desired end state in East Africa is one in which terrorist organizations cannot destabilize Somalia and its neighboring states, nor threaten the interests of the U.S. and its international allies in the region,” the command said.