Ten al-Shabaab members were killed by airstrikes conducted by US Africa Command in Somalia in the overnight hours of Saturday, the Defense Department announced.
“At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted three collective self-defense airstrikes overnight in a remote area near Afmadow, approximately 105 kilometers north of Kismayo, against al-Shabaab terrorists,” US Africa Command said in a statement Sunday.
The initial assessment of the Somali National Army and US Africa Command found that 10 members of the terrorist group were killed and there were no civilian casualties, per the statement.
Al-Shabaab is the largest and most active al Qaeda network in the world, according to the US Africa Command. The group controlled a vast area of Somalia before being pushed back by government counteroffensives last year, according to Reuters.
However, the militants continue to launch lethal attacks across the country with the aim of toppling the central government and establishing a rule based on its strict interpretation of Islam’s Sharia law.
In late May, al-Shabaab fighters launched an attack on an African Union military base in Somalia, in which at least 54 Ugandan soldiers were killed, according to Ugandan officials.
The US has provided ongoing support to the Somali government since President Joe Biden last year approved a Pentagon request to redeploy US troops to the area in an attempt to counter the terrorist group.