AFRICOM for April 20, 2019 – April 20, 2019
Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. target al-Shabaab
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia’s continued efforts to weaken al-Shabaab, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in the vicinity of Jamaame, Lower Juba Region, Somalia, on April 19, 2019.
Two years ago, al-Shabaab maintained a level of freedom of movement that allowed the group to terrorize and displace Somali citizens in the Lower Juba River Valley, which is near Kismayo. Today, our Somali and AMISOM partners have pushed the extremist group back up the river valley, establishing multiple combat outposts along the way in order to ensure our partners can hold the territory they have successfully retaken.
“Our Somali security partners have built combat outposts and have created more stability in the valley,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. William West, U.S. Africa Command deputy director of operations. “As a result, the Federal Government of Somalia has increased its governance in the region. This civil government engagement is absolutely vital and is helping to create durable, long-term stability.”
The Federal Government of Somalia and partner forces continue to make incursions into territory formerly controlled by al-Shabaab.
“Our efforts at training Somali forces are paying dividends,” said West. “When we train a relatively small unit and that unit then engages with other Somali forces, the experience and professionalism we instilled in the original unit spreads to others, and that’s making a difference.”
At this time, it is assessed this airstrike killed two al-Shabaab terrorists.
Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. When warranted, processes and procedures exist that allow for additional information to inform post-strike analysis.
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. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counter-terror operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.