MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – The leader of Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia Abu Obayda said the US has resorted to air strikes after joint US, Somali and African Union ground military operations fell short in ending Al-Shabaab’s 14-year long insurgency.
In an audio message released by the militant group, its leader stressed that the US turned to drone strikes as the only available option for it to defeat Islamists fighting to overthrow the western-backed government based in Mogadishu.
The assertion has come several weeks after US military pulled out nearly 700 American troops from the war-torn country, who had been participating in operations aimed to retake much of the territory controlled by Islamists.
The Islamist leader accused the US of targeting and killing civilians during its drone campaign over the past years.
Abu Obayda boasted about militant attacks on African Union and US military bases including those at Manda Bay airstrip, Bellidogle, Janale, El-Adde as well as others on hotels, Somalia presidential compound and other targets.
In the audio tape released via affiliated media, Al-Shabaab leader said there are similarities between the war his fighters have waged in Somalia and those the Dervish Movement led by Sayed Mohamed Abdullah Hassan had fought against British, Italian and Ethiopian empires in the first quarter of the 1990s.
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