U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense airstrike in the vicinity of Malayle, Lower Juba Region, Somalia, on March 13, 2019, in support of the Federal Government of Somalia's continued efforts to degrade al-Shabaab.
Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) were conducting a presence patrol in the region in order to maintain pressure on the al-Shabaab network. During the mission, militants engaged the SNSF patrol with small arms fire.
This Somali-led mission was designed to increase security along the Lower Juba River Valley. Somali and African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) forces have made significant gains degrading al-Shabaab influence in the region as part of a coordinated campaign designed to restore stability to the Somali people in Lower Juba. This mission and airstrike are part of a larger effort to support the SNSF as it increases pressure on the terrorist network.
U.S. service members were not present on the ground during the operation.
The SNSF and its partners will continue to effectively target the terrorist network in order to deny al-Shabaab the ability to 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 currently assesses this airstrike killed three militants.
At this time, it is 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. U.S. Africa Command 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 SNSF.