US airstrike in Somalia backs local troops


The US military said it killed two militants in an airstrike in Somalia this week during a battle between US and Somali government troops and al Shabaab Islamist fighters.

The military’s Africa Command (Africom) said the strike was carried out on September 11, in the central Somali village of Mubaraak, west of Mogadishu.
“The airstrike was conducted against an enemy fighting position in self-defence after US and partner forces came under attack,” Africom said in a statement.

Two militants were killed and a third wounded during the strike which did not cause any civilian casualties or injuries, Africom said. It said a soldier from the “partner force” was killed and no Americans were killed.

Al Shabaab said it killed some soldiers during fighting.

The United States ramped up operations in Somalia since last year after President Donald Trump loosened the rules of engagement.

US forces are supporting a UN-backed Somali government against the rebels, who lost control of most of Somalia’s towns and cities since withdrawing from Mogadishu in 2011 but retain a strong presence in areas outside the capital.