US Airstrike Kills Several Northwest of Somali Capital

AFRICOM Says Slain Were al-Shabaab Plotting Against US

US airstrikes against targets inside Somalia have become increasingly common in recent weeks, with the latest reported by AFRICOM on Tuesday, attacking a target 60 miles northwest of the capital of Mogadishu.

As with other recent US strikes, officials were very vague about who was killed, or how many, sayig the attack targeted al-Shabaab militants and that there were “several killed.” They added that the Somali government coordinated with them on the strike.

AFRICOM’s statement offered no identities, but they claimed that the targets were “planning and conducting attacks against the US and our partners in the region.” This is a comment line appended to strikes by way of legally justifying attacks.

With President Trump having granted AFRICOM commanders increasing autonomy to carry out such strikes on their own, the number of strikes in Somalia have been rising precipitously. So far, however, there is little indication that any substantial al-Shabaab members are being targeted, let alone that the escalation is doing anything to impact their operations.

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.