US airstrike in Somalia targets al Shabaab

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US Africa Command conducted what it called a collective self-defence airstrike in the vicinity of Malayle, Lower Juba Region, Somalia, on 13 March in support of the Federal Government of Somalia’s continued efforts to degrade al-Shabaab.

The Command said that Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) were conducting a presence patrol in the region in order to maintain pressure on the al-Shabaab network.  During the mission, militants engaged the SNSF patrol with small arms fire.

This Somali-led mission was designed to increase security along the Lower Juba River Valley. “Somali and African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) forces have made significant gains degrading al-Shabaab influence in the region as part of a coordinated campaign designed to restore stability to the Somali people in Lower Juba.  This mission and airstrike are part of a larger effort to support the SNSF as it increases pressure on the terrorist network,” Africa Command said.

U.S. service members were not present on the ground during the operation. Three militants were killed in the air strike.

The US military has over the past week carried out several air strikes in Somalia targeting al Shabaab militants.