US military says air strike conducted against Al-Shabaab in Somalia

US military says air strike conducted against Al-Shabaab in Somalia
A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone flies over Creech Air Force Base in Nevada during a training mission May 19, 2016. Picture taken May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Josh Smith

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – US military conducted air strikes against Al-Shabaab insurgents after they had attacked US-trained Somali special forces in a remote location in south Somalia, AFRICOM said in a statement on Wednesday.

It came days after Somalia’s army claimed killing 60 insurgents in an operation. But Al-Shabaab affiliated media reported that troops had been ambushed and besieged after a bitter gun battle before US military carried out air strikes to extricate trapped Somali partner forces. Militants said seven soldiers had been killed in the ambush.

US Africa Command said the air strikes were carried out after Somali partner forces had come under attack in a remote location near Duduble in the Middle Shabelle region.

US forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under the 2001 Authorization of Use for Military Force,” AFRICOM said in a statement.

A battle damage assessment is still pending. The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this air strike.”

It is the first air raid carried out by US drones in Somalia since August last year when several strikes were carried out in support of botched operation by government and regional troops to recapture towns in Mudug region from Al-Shabaab insurgents.

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