The Pentagon today claims to have confirmed that al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was killed in Monday’s attacks on southern Somalia, declaring his killing a “major symbolic and operational loss” to the Somali faction.
The Monday morning attack involved both drones and manned aircraft, and killed several people. At the time, the Pentagon said they were uncertain if the attack actually killed Godane, or even if he was present at the time. No ground troops were said to be involved.
It is still unclear who else was actually killed in the attack, let alone how the Pentagon determined Godane was killed if they didn’t have any troops in the area. The attack was also noteworthy because the Pentagon insisted they didn’t seek permission from the White House for it, but used a previous administration authorization to go after Godane to launch the attack unilaterally.
Still, the White House cheered the killing, and vowed to pursue more attacks against al-Shabaab in the future, declaring them a “threat to the United States and the American people.”