To support the Federal Government of Somalia's continued efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, U.S. forces conducted two (2) airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Beled Amin South, Somalia, on December 19, 2018.
Somali and African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) forces were conducting an operation in the region to clear known al-Shabaab facilities. U.S. personnel were present during the mission in an advisory capacity. The airstrikes were conducted in self-defense after al-Shabaab militants maneuvered on and engaged the combined force.
We currently assess the first strike killed eight (8) militants and we currently assess the second strike killed three (3) militants.
At this time we assess no civilians were injured or killed in the airstrikes.
No partner or U.S. service members were harmed during the operation.
This Somali-led mission was designed to increase security around Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab uses the area around Beled Amin South, which is approximately 40 kilometers northwest of Mogadishu, to plan and execute attacks against the capital. Our Somali and AMISOM partners have made significant strides recently in disrupting terrorist facilitation routes in Mogadishu, and operations like this are vital to maintaining pressure on militant networks.
Alongside our Somali and international partners, we are committed to preventing al-Shabaab from taking advantage of safe havens from which they can build capacity and attack the people of Somalia. In particular, the group uses portions of southern and central Somalia to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local populace to fund its operations, and shelter radical terrorists.
U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its
Member States, and U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to protect the
Somali people, including partnered military counter-terror operations with the Federal
Government of Somalia, AMISOM and Somali National Army forces.