by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The US is intensifying counter-terrorism airstrikes against al-Qaeda affiliates who have increased their attacks in Somalia since the withdrawal of hundreds of American troops this year, Bloomberg News reports. The US Africa Command has confirmed that airstrikes were carried out on July 20 and 23 and on Aug. 1.
On August 1, in the third strike in less than two weeks, the US launched a remote counter-terrorism attack on a target held by Al-Shabaab militants near the towns of Bacadweyne and Geedaley, Bloomberg reports.
“The airstrikes destroyed a large al-Shabaab firing position engaging Danab and Somali National Army forces as they approached,” the Somali Information Ministry confirmed.
Affiliated with al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab insurgents have been conducting terror attacks in Somalia since 2006: the group aims to impose Islamic law in the country. According to the US Department of Defense, fatalities arising from Al-Shabaab attacks in Somalia are projected to increase by 16% this year, Bloomberg said.
“[Al Shabaab] have been and remain a very real and serious threat to the Somali people and they are the primary African violent extremist threat to American interests,” the US Africa Command said in a statement about the latest airstrikes.
“The strikes were taken to defend Somali-partner forces who had come under attack in the course of operations against al-Shabaab,” the Command added. No US ground forces were involved.
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