US military carries out first drone strike in Somalia since redeployment of troops

Somalia

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – The United States military carried a drone strike in Somalia’s Lower Juba region killing five Al-Shabaab insurgents, the first since President Joe Biden approved the redeployment of American troops to the Horn of Africa country, Somali government said in a statement on Friday.

The strike came after militants “attacked partner forces in a remote location near Beer Xaani”, Somali Ministry of Information added.

US President Joe Biden approved last month the redeployment of about 500 American special forces to Somalia to help fight Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab insurgents, a move that has been hailed as a step taken forward by new Somali president and his administration. read more

In a statement via affiliated media, Al-Shabaab said it had killed 8 US-trained special forces in an ambush near the town of Beer Xaani in the Lower Juba region, claiming that it forced allied American and Somali troops to return to Kismayo before the air raid.

There has been no independent confirmation of both sides claims due to the remote nature of where the attack and drone strike took place.

In a speech during a trip to Galmudug region, Somalia’s new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud promised on Thursday that he would liberate vast swathes of territory in the regional state from Al-Shabaab, adding that he would do so in other parts of the country in cooperation with state authorities and other members of the country’s political stakeholders.

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