U.S. forces supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somali National Army and troop contributing nations to the African Union Mission in Somalia, provided defensive fires on four occasions in May, to protect U.S., SNA and AMISOM troops from imminent threats posed by the terrorist group al-Shabaab.
The most recent event was on the evening of May 13, 2016, when the U.S. provided defensive fires in Southern Somalia against nine al-Shabaab combatants, killing three. The operation was conducted after it was assessed that the terrorists were planning and preparing to conduct an imminent attack against U.S. forces.
Other similar actions were undertaken on three other occasions in May, including one on May 9, 2016, and two on May 12, 2016. These defensive fire missions all took place in remote locations in Somalia under al-Shabaab control, which are currently the focus of a Somali and AMISOM-led campaign to regain control of territory for the Somali Federal Government, and to disrupt al-Shabaab’s ability to freely plan and carry out attacks.
U.S. forces are working closely with partner forces to combat al-Shabaab in Somalia. Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and continues to use its safe havens throughout Somalia to plot attacks against U.S. citizens and interests in East Africa, as well as against our international partners in the region.
The U.S. is committed to supporting Somali and regional forces as they combat al-Shabaab and work to bring stability to the region.