Somalia: United States Using Drones to Attack Al-Shabaab

Photo: U.S. Army Africa
U.S. and Ghanaian soldiers discuss logistics for procuring and transporting medical equipment during a U.S. capacity building initiative .

The United States is using its pilotless drone aircraft to launch military attacks on leaders of the Somali militant group, Al Shabaab, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

The Post quoted an unidentified U.S. official as saying a drone fired on two Al Shabaab leaders last week, apparently wounding them.

The official was reported to have said of Al Shabaab: "They have become somewhat emboldened of late, and, as a result, we have become more focused on inhibiting their activities... They were planning operations outside of Somalia."

The Post said Somalia joins Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Yemen as the objects of lethal attacks from drones.

In remarks made in Washington on Wednesday, President Barack Obama's assistant in charge of counter-terrorism, John O. Brennan, identified Somalia as a country which hosted "affiliates and adherents" of Al Qaeda.

"As the al-Qa'ida core has weakened under our unyielding pressure," Brennan said, "it has looked increasingly to these other groups and individuals to take up its cause, including its goal of striking the United States...

"...[U]ltimately defeating al-Qa'ida also means addressing the serious threat posed by its affiliates and adherents operating outside South Asia," he added.

"From the territory it controls in Somalia, Al-Shabaab continues to call for strikes against the United States. As a result, we cannot and we will not let down our guard. We will continue to pummel al-Qa'ida and its ilk, and we will remain vigilant at home."

Agence France-Presse reports that residents of the port town of Kismayo in southern Somalia heard loud explosions on Thursday last week, followed by the sound of aircraft.

The agency quoted an unnamed Al Shabaab official as saying that "the military aircraft of the enemy carried out an aerial bombardment on a base where some mujahedeen fighters were staying... We believe the aircraft belonged to the U.S".

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2011 allAfrica.com. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

U.S. Military Steps Up Engagement With Africa

U.S. and Ghanaian soldiers discuss logistics for procuring and transporting medical equipment during a U.S. capacity building initiative .

A spate of recent news reports on U.S. intelligence activity in Africa has renewed debate over the role of the military in shaping American foreign policy towards the continent. In ... Read more »