US Airstrikes Kill 15 in Somalia; General Warns Airstrikes ‘Not Enough’

AFRICOM claims al-Shabaab was trying to 'illegally tax' civilians

US African Command (AFRICOM) has reported that airstrikes against targets in Somalia have killed at least 15 “fighters” from al-Shabaab. Both strikes were in the Lower Shabelle region, with 11 killed Wednesday and 4 killed Thursday.

These are the latest in an ever-growing number of strikes inside Somalia. The US strikes have increased substantially in the past few years, and this year’s bombings have been even more frequent than the last year.

Following the strikes, AFRICOM head Gen. Thomas Waldhauser warned the Senate that despite the escalations, airstrikes were “not enough” to defeat al-Shabaab, and that Somalia’s local forces need to get more deeply involved in the conflict.

Local forces, of course, have been fighting al-Shabaab since the group’s foundation. This has long failed, with al-Shabaab remaining influential across much of Somalia, and ever-growing international intervention increasing the number of deaths, but having little else to show for their involvement.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.