To support the Federal Government of Somalia's continued efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab fighters in the vicinity of Gandarshe, Lower Shebelle Region, Somalia, on February 1, 2019.
Al-Shabaab has previously used Gandarshe, 30 miles southwest of Mogadishu, as a staging area for attacks including vehicle borne improvised explosive devices that threaten the capital and its residents. On December 15 and 16, six U.S. airstrikes killed 62 al-Shabaab militants near Gandarshe, who were preparing for an attack on a Somali government military base in the region, and recently, a U.S. airstrike killed 24 militants in neighboring Hiran Region on January 30.
“Somali security forces continue to keep pressure on al-Shabaab, creating conditions for further political and economic development,” said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, U.S. Africa Command director of operations. “Somalia continues to demonstrate its commitment toward enhancing regional stability and security while degrading a transnational threat.”
U.S. Africa Command currently assesses this airstrike killed thirteen (13) militants.
At this time, it was assessed no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike.
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.