28 November 2017

Somalia: U.S. Targets Islamic State Militants in Somalia Airstrike

Photo: Shabelle
U.S. forces have conducted an air strike in Somalia against Al-Shabaab (file photo).

One terrorist was killed in a targeted airstrike in Somalia conducted by U.S. forces in coordination with Somalia's government, the U.S. military said Monday.

The strike against Islamic State fighters was carried out around 3pm local time on Monday in northeastern Somalia, U.S. Africa Command said in a statement.

"U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect U.S. citizens and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) in combined counterterrorism operations and targeting terrorists, their training camps, and their safe havens throughout Somalia and the region," the statement read.

Monday's strike brings the total number of U.S. airstrikes in Somalia this year to 30 - 28 of them having been carried out against al-Shabab. It is the second targeted at Islamic State fighters, the first having been carried out earlier this month.

Intensified airstrikes and renewed battles between government forces and militants have forced over 10,000 people to flee from their homes in Somalia, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council.

In a statement, the NRC said new ground fighting in the Middle and Lower Shabelle regions has displaced thousands of people

“We are seeing a spike in families fleeing fighting that are arriving in overcrowded camps in Mogadishu. The camps are already overfilled with people affected by drought.” Victor Mose, the NRC’s country director in Somalia, said in a statement Monday.

Moses said people affected by both the conflict and drought “have to endured multiple crisis at once and this can push them over the brink.”

According to the United Nations, half of Somalia's population is in need of humanitarian aid as parts of the country try to cope with a severe drought.

Abdulaziz Osman of VOA's Somali Service contributed to this report.

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