A US air strike in Somalia has reportedly killed around 30 Islamist al-Shabab militants, according to the US military. The operation took place near the town of Galcad, approximately 260km northeast of the capital, Mogadishu. The town has been the site of intense fighting between the Somali army and al-Shabab militants in recent days. The air strike was called in as the army was under attack by over 100 militants, according to the US Africa Command.
Al-Shabab has been engaged in a long-running insurgency against the Somali government since 2006, with the group aiming to establish an extremist Islamist regime in the country. While the group has been pushed out of major cities such as Mogadishu, it continues to carry out attacks on both military and civilian targets.
The US Africa Command stated that three al-Shabab vehicles were destroyed in the operation and that it assessed that no civilians were injured or killed. However, these details have not been independently verified. The US has been providing support to the Somali government in its fight against al-Shabab and has carried out a number of air strikes against the group in recent years.
In a statement, the US Africa Command said, “US Africa Command’s forces will continue training, advising and equipping partner forces to help give them the tools they need to defeat al-Shabab, the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world.”