EU Attacks Coastal Somali Village

Officials Term Town a 'Pirate Lair'

European Union naval forces and attack helicopters attacked the village of Handulle today, the first time their “anti-piracy” forces have attacked the Somali mainland. Officials termed the village a “pirate lair” and said the attack destroyed a supply center.

EU warships have been off the coast of Somalia since 2008, but has just recently changed their operating standards to allow attacks on the coast. Initially saying it would only target “moored ships” they quickly decided to attack anything on shore that was conceivably in use by pirates.

EU officials declined to say which nations were involved in the attack, but hinted at further strikes in the future, saying that they had a long list of possible targets and that this one just seemed like the most promising to hit at the given time.

Early reports suggest that there were no casualties in the attacks, but there is virtually no media in Somalia, which makes such a determination virtually impossible to make.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.