The United States forces targeted the al-Qaida-linked terrorist group al-Shabaab in Somalia in its first airstrike since Joe Biden, the U.S. President, reapproved deploying his military to Somalia, killing five fighters on Friday. After the strike, the Somalian Ministry of Information took Twitter to announce the U.S. airstrike saying that it had targeted al-Shabab militants after they had attacked Somalian forces.
The US forces launched airstrikes to target the al-Shadab group in Somalia to kill 5 fighters. Yesterday’s attack against the terrorist group was the first since the US announced in mid-May that it would reestablish following the Trump’s decision to pull out troops from Somalia. pic.twitter.com/hgLeZex47d
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) June 4, 2022
United States Africa Command and the Pentagon shared ay details about the incident. U.S. military aircraft carried out the first airstrike against al-Shabab since mid-May, when the administration announced it would reestablish a “small, persistent U.S. military presence” in Somalia after the previous administration opted to pull out troops stationed in the country as of December 2020.
Last month, senior government officials called the decision by former Republican President Donald Trump to end the persistent American presence in Somalia a mistake. Further, he argued that it gave al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab, a chance to regenerate. A senior United States official told reporters that al-Shabab grew stronger. Additionally, it increased the pace of its terrorist attacks against civilians and U.S. personnel.
NEW: Senior administration official decries decision by ex President Trump to withdraw US troops from #Somalia
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) May 16, 2022
Somali President Welcomed the Change
On social media, the new Somali leader thanked United States President Joe Biden for the change. In addition to high-ranking U.S. military officials, several senior Somali officials had been lobbying for a U.S. military presence in the country to help combat al-Shabab. However, ahead of an announcement about the United States return, a senior adviser to Mohamud told VOA that the withdrawal was a hasty one.
Officials in Somalia have said they have no doubt airstrikes against al-Shabab will increase as long as the U.S. remains in the country. Only one airstrike has been publicly confirmed this year, on February 22, by the U.S. African Command against al-Shabab fighters near Duduble, Somalia. U.S. African Command has not yet released a statement regarding the strike reported Friday by Somali authorities.